The nose is such a delicate, intricate body part that even slight structural changes can affect our ability to breathe. Because those structural issues could then develop into serious respiratory problems, it’s crucial that patients find the right treatment and the right surgeon, someone that has extensive experience with nasal surgery and the skill to leave the nose looking anatomically normal.
It’s why patients choose Dr. Hershcovitch for their functional rhinoplasty; as double board-certified surgeon who specializes in ENT and facial plastic surgery, Dr. Hershcovitch not only has extensive experience with treating the various diseases and traumas that affect the nose, but can also ensure that the nose is reinforced and strengthened long after the treatment.
It’s crucial to point out that Dr. Hershcovitch’s outstanding cosmetic nose surgery always addresses a patient’s breathing problems, but some patients opt for functional rhinoplasty because they want a surgical treatment without changing their appearance.
Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
What is Functional Rhinoplasty?
Functional rhinoplasty is a type of nose surgery that repairs the nose to alleviate breathing problems. When left ignored, breathing problems caused by airway obstruction can lead to a wide range of complications: congestion, having to breathe through the mouth, insomnia, sleep disturbance, pressure headaches, reoccurring sinus infections, nosebleeds, sleep apnea, hypertension, and even serious conditions like heart disease. Dr. Hershcovitch will employ a variety of techniques to correct breathing problems. Often, insurance can cover a large portion of the cost of the procedure.
The septum is the barrier of cartilage and bone that divides the airways. A deviated septum is when the septum is so crooked that it substantially obstructs the airways and leaves the patient congested, and sometimes, suffering from pain and regular nosebleeds. It can either be congenital or caused by trauma. With a septoplasty, a kind of functional rhinoplasty treatment, the septum will be moved or shaved down to straighten it or move it to the correct position. Nasal septoplasty can be performed in 30-60 minutes. This procedure is usually covered by insurance.
The turbinates are crucial structures located along the length of the nasal cavities. They’re essentially bony structures that are covered with a mucous membrane, and they’re essential for warming, filtering, and moisturizing the air we inhale. Because the turbinates project into the nasal passages, enlarged turbinates can seriously obstruct airflow. Functional rhinoplasty is commonly used to reduce the size of the turbinates without removing them entirely. Dr. Hershcovitch also offers an in-office, minimally invasive procedure that uses a cold laser or a precise shaving techniques to reduce the size of the turbinates.
Polyps are benign growths that appear along the nasal cavities and passages. Nasal polyps can appear randomly, but they are sometimes associated with patients advanced allergies. Some treatments for nasal polyps include surgical removal as well as a kind of minimally invasive functional rhinoplasty that uses an endoscope to visualize the inside of the nose. With the endoscopic sinus surgery, Dr. Hershcovitch will also implant the Propel implant at the roots of the polyp to prevent reoccurrence.
The nasal valve is the most narrow part of the nasal airways, and it can sometimes collapse and narrow the airways. With functional rhinoplasty, Dr. Hershcovitch can reinforce the nasal valve to keep it open. Dr. Hershcovitch will sometimes use a graft to strengthen the nasal valve and prevent further collapse.
Trauma to the nose can have long, lasting consequences that go beyond aesthetic issues. The nose doesn’t consist of just bone; it’s divided into three structures, with the top structure consisting of a pyramid of bone, the middle third consisting of hard cartilage, and the lower third consisting of soft cartilage. If the nose experiences trauma, the top bony part can heal like any bone, but the cartilaginous tissue might not recover and eventually collapse.
Using an open or closed approach, Dr. Hershcovitch can repair the nasal fracture and strengthen the remaining the nasal structures.
In addition to nasal fractures, Dr. Hershcovitch is also experienced in treating deformities related to cocaine use.
Since many patients are suffering from multiple structural issues, Dr. Hershcovitch can often combine several techniques in one procedure. One commonplace combination is turbinate reduction and nasal septoplasty with nasal valve repair. By combining different techniques, Dr. Hershcovitch can ensure that results can last a lifetime and prevent the need for a revision.
How Functional Rhinoplasty Is Performed
How your procedure is performed will vary depending on what kind of technique is used; some procedures are much more extensive, while others, like nasal septoplasty, are relatively quick. If it’s minimally invasive, your treatment will be performed in-office, but if it’s a major surgical procedure it will be performed in a local accredited surgical center. Either way, patients will be able to go home the same day as their procedure.
Recovery from Functional Rhinoplasty
The patient’s recovery will depend on what kind of procedure they completed; for example, patients who undergo nasal septoplasty are often back to work after 3-5 days, while patients who undergo in-office turbinate reduction can go back to work the next day. Patients tend to feel sensations like congestion, soreness, and sometimes, headaches after their surgery.
In general, the patient will wear a small cast after their functional rhinoplasty. The cast is typically removed after 5-7 days. Patients may also have to wear silastic sheeting to protect the inside of their nose. The sheeting is typically removed after a week. Often, dissolvable material can be used inside the nose for added comfort during the recovery.
For the comprehensive surgery, about 6-8 weeks of recovery are required for the inside of the nose to heal.
Can Functional Rhinoplasty Be Covered by Insurance?
Because functional rhinoplasty is performed to fix health problems, it may be covered by insurance. Talk to your insurance provider or Dr. Hershcovitch’s office to learn more about your coverage for the procedure.
To learn more about your reconstructive procedure, contact the office of Dr. Hershcovitch for a consultation.