Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
Breathing after a Nose Job
Rhinoplasty is a surgery used to change the shape of your nose. It is often completed to improve appearances, fix a birth defect or help patients breathe better.
The upper portion of the nose is bone, while the lower portion is made of cartilage. Rhinoplasty is able to modify the bone, cartilage, skin or all three. It is important to review your options with a surgeon and discuss whether rhinoplasty is a good option for you.
When planning rhinoplasty, your surgeon will evaluate your other facial features. This includes the skin on your nose and your desired results. If you are a candidate for surgery, the surgeon will develop a customized plan. Depending on your specific case, a portion or all of a rhinoplasty may be covered by your health insurance.
Rhinoplasty is able to modify the size, shape or proportions of your nose. It is sometimes used to repair deformities from an injury, correct a birth defect or improve breathing challenges.
Over 130,000 people undergo rhinoplasty annually in order to modify their nose. Some patients report experiencing difficulty in breathing through their nose following surgery. Experts suggest that modern techniques allow the reshaping of the nose without the same level of risk with breathing issues.
Lawrence Reed, MD, a plastic surgeon and assistant professor of plastic surgery at Cornell University in New York said that “Rhinoplasty has really evolved in the last twenty years." In addition, Reed stated "The focus is now on repositioning the nose rather than removing a lot of cartilage. But patients who had the surgery years ago often complain of sleeplessness and other nasal airway problems. This is because removing too much cartilage causes the sides of the nose to collapse during inhalation."
It is possible to correct the problem. "We restore the over-operated areas by making a tiny pocket for patients' cartilage," says Daniel Becker, MD. Becker is from the University of Pennsylvania. Cartilage extracted from behind the ear or inside the nose and can be re-grafted into these pockets.
Using a written questionnaire, researchers at the University of Illinois evaluated its effectiveness by studying 46 patients. The participants were asked to rate their nasal breathing on a scale of 1-5 both before and after rhinoplasty. An estimated 98% of the patients reported improved nasal breathing. Based on the results, a rhinoplasty patient opted for the corrective procedure nearly 30 years later.
The patient said she didn't realize anything could be done to correct the issue so she lived with it. The breathing problem caused her to wake up at night and worsened over time. After learning about the corrective surgery, there was fear that it would change the shape of her nose. She also wanted to avoid the bruising, swelling and pain she experienced after the initial surgery.
She ultimately opted to complete the corrective surgery and now wonders why she waited so long. She reported that after the surgery she was able to sleep through the night and didn’t experience any changes in the shape of her nose. She was able to return to work after a long weekend and didn't require the pain medication. Fortunately, her health insurance also paid for the cost of the procedure.
"Relief of breathing problems is medically necessary no matter what the cause is," says Becker. "So the plans generally cover the surgery. But it's important that patients seek out board-certified surgeons. Ear, nose, and throat surgeons, with additional training in facial plastic surgery, and plastic surgeons are qualified to do the procedure."
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