Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is well known as a surgical procedure for altering the shape of the nose. However, contrary to popular belief, the rhinoplasty Houston patients choose to undergo is not always for cosmetic reasons. Many patients need it because they have such severe breathing problems that it affects their quality of life, and surgery for this reason is called functional rhinoplasty, as distinct from cosmetic rhinoplasty.

The nose is a very important organ of the body, performing several functions, including playing an important part in the sense of smell. Obviously one of its main functions is as part of the respiratory system, which is essential for survival. It contains tiny hairs which filter the air that enters the body, cleansing it of dirt and foreign particles.

However, the nasal passages through which the air is breathed in can often become blocked for one reason or another, meaning that breathing through the nose becomes difficult or impossible. One of the frequent reasons for a stuffy nose is the common cold, but normally this only lasts a week or two at the most. Other reasons for nasal congestion can be much more long-lasting or even permanent, and this is where rhinoplasty Houston doctors will be required.

One common cause of a blocked nose is a condition called deviated septum. The septum is the piece of cartilage that divides the left from the right nostril, and it can be crooked, misaligned, or off-center, resulting in sinus infection and nasal congestion, as well as headaches and sometimes nosebleeds. The surgeon will employ a particular type of rhinoplasty called septoplasty, to straighten the septum and open the blocked nasal passages.

Another possible reason for nasal obstruction is enlargement of the turbinates, which are the three shelves of bone in the outer wall of the nasal cavity — they help to moisten, warm and filter the air as it is breathed in. Any of these, but more often the middle or lower ones, may develop internal air pockets, causing them to swell and obstruct the airways. Because they have an important function, not all the turbinates will be removed, but rhinoplasty can be carried out for partial turbinate reduction, and this can bring about a significant improvement in breathing.

Nasal polyps can also be a cause of breathing difficulties. Polyps are benign tissue growths that can develop inside the nasal cavities or sinuses, and can cause a runny, stuffy nose and loss of smell — the symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, but unlike the cold, they won’t go away without treatment. Smaller polyps can be treated with medication, but rhinoplasty may be needed for the larger ones.

These functional rhinoplasty techniques can usually be carried out without altering the shape of the nose, if required. In fact, patients will often seek both cosmetic and functional enhancements at the same time, since a badly shaped nose can itself be a cause of breathing problems. What is clear is that seeing a good rhinoplasty Houston doctor will always result in the best possible outcomes for both appearance and functioning of the nose. Contact Dr. Patt, an expert in rhinoplasty, for your consultation.