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Functional rhinoplasty is defined as surgery of the external nasal bones or cartilages for the purpose of improving nasal breathing that is due to anatomic deficits. Usually, functional rhinoplasty and septoplasty can be considered medically necessary by insurance companies and may possibly be covered procedures when certain specific criteria are met.
Functional Rhinoplasty is essentially corrective nasal surgery to improve a person’s breathing. Many techniques are available, and Dr. Hurvitz will customize the surgical treatment so that it fits your specific condition.
What Can Functional Rhinoplasty Fix?
Obstructed nasal breathing has a significant negative impact on quality of life. Patients often complain of being tired and lethargic. Having a nasal obstruction can result in the following:
- Dry mouth
- Sleep apnea
- Sinus pressure headaches
- Reduced sense of smell
The main structural abnormalities include a deviated nasal septum, weak or collapsed nasal cartilages, or asymmetric nasal bones. Sometimes patients have a combination of these factors, which all contribute to the severity of the breathing obstruction. Corrective functional rhinoplasty can effectively treat all forms of structural airway problems.
These issues are often caused by structural damage or pre-existing malformations in the external valves, internal valves, septum, or turbinates. The internal nasal valve can also get narrow due to aging, leading to airway collapse and obstruction.
What Is Nasal Septoplasty?
The nasal septum is a structure made of cartilage and bone. It divides the nose into two halves. When the septum becomes deviated or crooked, it leads to the obstruction of airways and a litany of breathing issues.
Nasal septoplasty is a type of functional rhinoplasty procedure that uses a set of customized surgical techniques to straighten the septum.
Am I a Good Candidate for Functional Rhinoplasty?
If you have any of the following conditions or a combination of them, you are a good candidate for functional rhinoplasty:
- Overly narrow nose
- Nasal injury
- Nasal congenital defect
- Nasal trauma caused by repeated infections
- Collapsed airway
In most cases, functional rhinoplasty changes your nose’s shape. For example, if your nasal valves must be widened, it means that the width of the nose must be increased in this region. For this reason, functional rhinoplasty is often paired with cosmetic rhinoplasty.
Your Functional Rhinoplasty Consultation
An evaluation of a patient’s inner nose is necessary to determine if there is airway obstruction, and if so, what is causing it. During the consultation, Dr. Hurvitz will evaluate your medical history and examine your nose, followed by providing his recommendation for correction of any issues he finds present. He will also explain the surgical process, risks associated with surgery, and what to expect during the healing process.
How to Prepare for Functional Rhinoplasty
Like all surgical procedures, you will need to prepare for rhinoplasty in order to ensure a safe and comfortable surgical and post-surgical process.
At least 4 to 6 weeks before and after your rhinoplasty appointment, avoid smoking. Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours before and after the procedure. Staying away from these lifestyle choices can help prevent excessive swelling and slower healing.
On the day of the procedure, have a companion assist you. Secure your transportation going to and leaving the surgical center to ensure your safety.
Take a leave from work for at least 5 to 7 days after the rhinoplasty procedure. This is the initial recovery period where you’ll need enough rest to get the best results. Avoid any strenuous activities for 6 weeks after the procedure. This includes heavy physical work like running or lifting weights.
Dr. Hurvitz will provide a list for your aftercare kit. This includes all necessary materials to help you clean the incision sites properly. Remember that a commitment to this aftercare will give you the best results, especially for scar management and preventing the risk of infection.
Prepare your resting area with enough pillows for support. A neck pillow can help secure your sleeping position and prevent any pressure on the nose after rhinoplasty. Place your necessities nearby.
Preparing healthy meals in advance can also boost your recovery process. Include meals rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
The night before your rhinoplasty, take a bath and wash your hair thoroughly to protect your nose from any bacteria or other chemicals from makeup or skin care products.
Since a functional rhinoplasty is performed for breathing improvement, contact your health insurance in advance to learn about coverage.
Functional Rhinoplasty Cost
If you have health insurance, make sure you talk to your provider to find out what is covered under the scope of functional rhinoplasty. Please also discuss with Dr. Hurvitz or his staff to find out if your surgery qualifies for insurance coverage. Health insurance typically does not pay for procedures that are performed for cosmetic reasons, there must be a medical need for the surgery.