Rhinoplasty v. Septoplasty

Often used interchangeably, there are actually several differences between rhinoplasty and septoplasty. The two procedures can be combined, and this is frequent in the world of cosmetic procedures, but what makes one procedure so much more distinct than the other?

Septoplasty

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to repair a deviated septum. The deviated septum is the bent membrane between the two nostrils. When the membrane makes it challenging to breathe through the nose or causes medical problems like headaches and sinus infections, septoplasty can alleviate suffering.

In the procedure, the surgeon peels back part of the skin covering the nose and works inside the nasal cavities to straighten the membrane. This may involve cutting, shaving or even breaking the nose to straighten it out from the inside. While patients undergoing septoplasty are often left with a slightly different nasal shape, the purpose of the septoplasty is to modify the shape of the nose from within.

Rhinoplasty

On the other hand, rhinoplasty is designed to reshape the nose from the outside. A true rhinoplasty procedure does not involve cutting or changing the shape of the septum between the nostrils, but instead focuses on the procedure required to change the overall shape of the nose. This could require trimming off cartilage and bone that creates the shape of the nose or it may require breaking the nose and repositioning the bones and tissues to make a more desirable shape.

In a rhinoplasty procedure, the shape of the nose will absolutely be changed as it is a cosmetic procedure with this express purpose. If the patient is seeking a change to the inside of the nose as well as the shape of the nose, a combined procedure may very well be an option as well.