Rhinoplasty and Nasal Breathing

By AOO on December 18, 2020 under Rhinoplasty

When you think about a nose job, you probably think about the use of cosmetic surgery to change the way your nose looks for aesthetic reasons. However, rhinoplasty isn’t always a purely cosmetic procedure.  The outer nose is the doorway to your upper respiratory system, the nasal passages and sinuses.   The term refers to a procedure that change the shape of the nose.  Rhinoplasty techniques are often used to address an area of the nasal passage called the nasal valve and when it affects your breathing may be covered by insurance providers.

The Reasons for Rhinoplasty

There are several reasons to undergo a rhinoplasty procedure. Rhinoplasty techniques that address your nasal valve can offer relief for several well-known medical issues in the nose and sinuses, including nasal obstructions. Another reason your physician may recommend rhinoplasty along with other nasal airway procedures at Associates of Otolayrngology / ENT Specialists of the Rockies, is to relieve the potentially dangerous issues of sleep apnea and restricted airways.

The most common reason patients may choose a rhinoplasty is because they not only have nasal breathing problems but want to improve the appearance of their nose.


Your primary care provider will usually start your treatment with traditional treatment options for nasal blockage such as decongestants and nasal allergy sprays. However, if their treatments don’t work, your physician may refer you to a qualified ENT specialist who can accurately diagnose and relieve your symptoms.

Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty

The most common medical procedures that are used to improve your nasal breathing due to anatomical reasons include septoplasty, turbinoplasty and a nasal valve repair. In some cases, a septoplasty can be performed alone, which corrects a deviated septum without changing the external appearance of the nose, as a rhinoplasty does. However, a rhinoplasty offers you the chance to alter the the shape and structure of your nose to provide further benefits.  If you need to take into consideration improving the appearance of your nose with a rhinoplasty, it is best to do this procedure at the same time as your septoplasty.

Changing the Shape of the Nose

One of the most common questions patients ask during a rhinoplasty consultation is whether we can make a difference in their appearance. If you are unhappy with the way your nose is shaped, you can take to our board-certified facial plastic surgeon about the benefits a rhinoplasty can have for you.  This is our surgeon who has the unique qualifications of having both Plastic Surgery training and also ENT training so he understands the balance of the form and function of your nose.  For people who are affected by an unsightly hump on their nose or are struggling with an undefined nasal tip, a rhinoplasty can have a positive impact on your life.

What Happens During a Rhinoplasty Procedure

Much time is spent in the office evaluating you, performing photographs and computerized simulations and understanding your goals so that you feel well prepared for surgery.  Rhinoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure while an anesthesiologist monitors you and gives you general anesthesia.   The surgery takes a few hours and then you go home and rest and recover.

During the procedure, board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Cote will work to improve the size and shape of your nasal passageways to aid your breathing. After your breathing issues have been addressed any desired reshaping will take place.

Learn More About Rhinoplasty in Denver

If you want to learn more about rhinoplasty, schedule a consultation with the Associates of Otolaryngology, ENT Specialists of the Rockies. Our ENT doctors are here to help you breathe better through rhinoplasty.  Understand your doctors’ credentials and find out how experienced they are doing this procedure.  Reach out by calling us at 720-897-7160 or contacting us online to start a conversation about your breathing problems and ways we can help.