We often see patients at GuildfordENT because of concerns regarding the shape or function of their nose.
These patients may be candidates for surgical treatment in the form of a rhinoplasty, or often a septorhinoplasty (rhinoplasty in combination with a septoplasty).
A functional reason refers to problems with being able to breathe through the nose. This may be because of a deviated septum or collapse of the nasal valves (internal or external), which occur naturally or after an injury to the nose.
After trialling conservative and medical options, septorhinoplasty can be used to correct the septal deviation by removing/reshaping the cartilage and bone that form the septum.
It can also be used to address nasal valve issues by repositioning the cartilage that forms the outside (visible) part of the nose, and/or by using cartilage from other parts of the body (septum, ear, rib) as a graft to open up the airway or reinforce the weak cartilages that are already there.
This procedure can also be used to close septal perforations.
Similarly, cosmetic concerns may arise due to the natural shape of the nose, or after trauma, such as a broken nose or after surgery to the nose.
The types of cosmetic issues are highly variable. To name a few examples – there may be a deviation of the dorsum (top) of the nose to the right or left, a collapse of the mid-third of the nose (‘saddle deformity’) or a hump.
As with all cosmetic issues, it is the individual’s perception of their nose that is important to take into account when considering any surgical treatment. Some patients with a slight deviation of their nose may not have any issues with it, whereas for other patients, this may represent the most terrible thing in their lives.
However, it is equally important that surgeons are honest with patients about what they feel they are able to do surgically. Not all cosmetic problems can be addressed with an operation. Seeking a second opinion is always advised, particularly from somebody well-versed in rhinoplasty surgery.
More information on cosmetic rhinoplasty here.