Noncosmetic Reasons to Consider A Rhinoplasty

Often called nose jobs, rhinoplasties are very popular procedures in the United States. In fact, more than 207,200 of them occurred in 2019 alone. And while many people think about rhinoplasties in terms of cosmetic reasons, many are also performed for medical reasons.

Frederick H. Watkins, MD, our board-certified plastic surgeon here at our offices in Rockville, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia, has performed rhinoplasties on many patients for medical reasons. In this blog, Dr. Watkins explains when a rhinoplasty may be needed to treat a medical issue.

Congenital defects

Certain conditions present at birth can necessitate a rhinoplasty. One of these conditions, a cleft palate, can make it difficult to eat, sleep, and breathe. The palate is the roof of the mouth, and sometimes it doesn’t fully close during fetal development, which can leave a gap — or cleft — that extends to the upper lip. 

While a rhinoplasty can help restore the facial features, which could be considered a cosmetic reason, the primary reason is to restore functionality. 

Fractured nose

As the sole protrusion on your face, your nose is highly vulnerable to injury. Whether you fall, get in a car accident, get hit by a ball, or engage in a brawl, noses tend to take the brunt of the trauma.

The look of the resulting crooked appendage may or may not bother you, but the disrupted breathing may. A broken nose can block the airway in one nostril or the other. Dr. Watkins can easily reset the bones, realign them, and clear the way for easy breathing.

Chronic sinus issues

If you have a sinus infection now and then, it doesn’t warrant a rhinoplasty. But a chronic condition that requires a constant course of antibiotics may mean there’s a more serious underlying problem. You may have broken your nose in the past and never had the bone reset. If it healed improperly, you may be dealing with a buildup of mucus and bacteria that can’t drain well.

Another cause may be a deviated septum, which is a misalignment of the cartilage in your nose. Or you simply may have been born with narrow nasal passages that are trapping pathogens and causing chronic infections. Dr. Watkins can alleviate these problems with a rhinoplasty.

Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that blocks your airway and causes you to stop breathing intermittently throughout the night, can lead to poor sleep quality, cognitive problems, and cardiovascular issues. Characterized by loud snoring, gasping for air, headaches, and extreme fatigue during the day, sleep apnea ranges from mildly annoying to life-threatening.

In sleep apnea cases caused by narrow or blocked air passages, a rhinoplasty may be required to expand the airway or remove excess tissue.

Following brain surgery

With some brain surgeries, the entry point is through the nose. Tumors are often removed through the nasal cavity if it provides the easiest access to the tumor site. While the procedure can save you from needing to shave your head or heal from a scalp incision, you may sustain damage to your nose. 

In this case, Dr. Watkins can perform a reconstructive rhinoplasty to repair the damage and restore function.

Is a rhinoplasty right for you?

If you don’t like the shape, size, or position of your nose, Dr. Watkins can skillfully and artfully make adjustments to bring symmetry and balance to your face. These cases, however, would be cosmetic in nature. But, if you have nasal issues that disrupt your ability to eat, breath, or sleep, you may be a perfect candidate for a medical rhinoplasty. 

If you have a medical issue with your nose and would like to see if a rhinoplasty can fix it, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today.

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