A septoplasty (also known as a functional rhinoplasty) addresses the nasal septum, which is the structure that divides the left and right nasal cavity. In some cases, the septum can become deviated, creating an anatomic obstruction to the nasal breathing. Sometimes this can impede airflow in one nasal airway; at other times, it can obstruct both of the nasal airways. The septoplasty involves addressing these deviations to improve the patient’s breathing – creating a straight septum that is in the midline and not impacting airflow on either side of the nose.
Dr. Michael Somenek is a Board-certified rhinoplasty surgeon who could help you get a septoplasty in Washington DC in order to correct your breathing.
Causes of Nasal Obstruction
Nasal obstruction can be caused in several ways. One of them is a septal deviation, which is probably the most common form of obstruction. Another cause of obstruction involves the internal and external nasal valves within the nose, which contribute to airflow. If the nasal valves lack support or they are collapsing when the person is breathing in, then Dr. Somenek can take some of the patient’s cartilage and use it to reinforce the valves, helping them breathe easier.
A patient may need a functional rhinoplasty in Washington DC if they have a history of trauma that results in breathing concerns. For example, an athlete who repeatedly injures their nose might have this problem. Additionally, some people are born with a lack of support to their nose, whether it is their nasal valves or due to weak cartilage. In that case, a septoplasty can be used to restore the support to these areas.
A deviated septum is a deviation to the structure that separates the left and right nasal cavity. In some cases, the septum may deviate into one side of the nose, and in other cases it may deviate into both sides of the nose, obstructing both nasal airway passages bilaterally.
What Happens During a Septoplasty?
During a septoplasty in Washington DC, Dr. Somenek addresses the areas that are contributing to the nasal obstruction. If it is a septal deviation, then a septoplasty should be performed, which removes the deviated portions of cartilage and, in some instances, fragments of bone. For other aspects of the nose, such as the internal/external nasal valves, the cartilage that is harvested from the nasal septum is used to reinforce the nasal valves through a series of internal graphs. Afterwards, the patient has a much stronger structure to the nose and should have improved breathing post-operatively.
The functional and cosmetic rhinoplasties are frequently performed together. When they are isolated, the functional rhinoplasty is only used to address breathing concerns that come from septal deviations or valvular collapse to the nose. The cosmetic rhinoplasty is solely dedicated to improving the aesthetic aspects of the nose, such as refinements of the nasal tip, narrowing the nasal bones, or smoothing out a dorsal hump.
Turbinate reduction refers to reducing the overall size of the inferior turbinate, which are structures that line the sidewall of the nose and can swell in response to certain allergens or pollutants within the air. For some people who are not effectively able to reduce the size of the turbinates with nasal sprays or other medication, a turbinate reduction can be done to decrease the overall size and improve breathing capability.
Recovery Timeline of a Functional Rhinoplasty
The recovery timeline of a functional rhinoplasty is similar to a cosmetic rhinoplasty. The patient has a cast on their nose for one week, which is protective and holds all of the graphs in their specific place while the nose is healing. Afterwards, the patient can expect their nose to have some swelling, given the amount of work that was done both externally and internally.
Dr. Somenek asks that patients remove any nasal piercings prior to undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure. However, they are able to get their nose or septum re-pierced after he gives the okay that they are fully healed.
Ask About a Septoplasty in Washington DC if You Have Breathing Problems
Rhinoplasties are not just a cosmetic procedure – some people may need one for practical purposes, like breathing. It is in your best interest to find a well-respected facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Michael Somenek to perform this important procedure. Schedule a consultation for a septoplasty in Washington DC and regain your ability to breathe without issue.