Septoplasty vs Rhinoplasty: Let’s Break Down the Differences


At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we often meet with patients who tell us they want to get a nose job. Generally, we assume that what they mean is that they want a rhinoplasty. In actual fact, though, there are a couple of surgical procedures that involve the nose. In addition to rhinoplasty, there is also a procedure known as septoplasty. The distinctions between these two surgeries are highly consequential.

The basic difference between the two procedures is that rhinoplasty is primarily designed to improve the appearance of the nose; it’s all about aesthetics and outward appearances. By contrast, septoplasty is focused on correcting structural issues inside the nose. It’s less focused on looks and more focused on addressing breathing problems and similar issues.

To find out which procedure is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation appointment at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. In the meantime, here is a quick guide to septoplasty vs rhinoplasty procedures.

Understanding the Differences: Septoplasty vs Rhinoplasty

Let’s start by taking a closer look at what each procedure entails.

Septoplasty at a Glance

The two sides of your nose are separated by a wall of thin bone and cartilage. This wall is known as the septum, and it plays an important role in creating twin nasal cavities and supporting the overall shape and structure of your nose. Additionally, it’s the septum that helps guide airflow. Without it, breathing would be more difficult and laborious.

Ideally, the septum is more or less straight. Sometimes, though, it can become crooked, or malformed. When this happens, it’s called a deviated septum. This can sometimes happen at birth, but it may also happen later in life, especially when there is some sort of an accident or facial trauma involved.

When you have a deviated septum, it can produce a number of unwanted effects, including headaches, nasal congestion, and snoring. In more extreme cases, it can also lead to sleep apnea, which in turn created conditions for chronic fatigue.

It’s possible that you can have a deviated symptom and never experience any symptoms at all. If that’s the case for you, then count your blessings! But if you do experience problems due to a deviated septum, you may wish to have it corrected. And that’s what septoplasty is all about.

During this surgical procedure, your doctor will straighten the septum, and potentially remove extra bone or cartilage to ensure the septum does not become too slack. This restores the nasal passages to their normal functioning, and once you have recovered from surgery, it should help you return to normal, healthy breathing.

Generally speaking, septoplasty is all about the function of the nose; in other words, it shouldn’t change your appearance. If a cosmetic change is what you’re after, then you may be better off getting rhinoplasty done.

Rhinoplasty at a Glance

Rhinoplasty is designed for those who do not like the look of their nose. The purpose of rhinoplasty is for your surgeon to change the nose’s appearance, bringing it into greater harmony with your other facial features. Again, when people talk about getting a “nose job,” this is generally what they mean.

There are a number of reasons why patients may be dissatisfied with their noses. Sometimes, they simply think their nose is too big and bulbous, lacking proportionality with the rest of the face. A rhinoplasty procedure can correct this. However, the procedure can also be useful for addressing humped ridges, balls at the tip of the nose, or nasal bridges that are too wide and fat.

For people who feel self-conscious about their nose, rhinoplasty can produce life-changing results. Indeed, the procedure can help you feel more confident in your physical appearance. With that said, the goal is always to produce a subtle effect, ensuring that your nose blends seamlessly with the rest of the face.

To learn more about either of these procedures, we welcome you to contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery to set up a consultation.

Rhinoplasty Patient Results

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Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty: What Are the Similarities?

Clearly, there are some significant differences between the two procedures. The question is, are there any ways in which they overlap?

The most obvious similarity is that they both involve the nose. And both are surgical procedures that require anesthesia, as well as the guidance of skilled, board-certified plastic surgeons. Also, no matter which procedure you get, you can anticipate a recovery time, which may last for more than several days.

It’s worth noting that some patients actually need to have both procedures done to accomplish their goals. For instance, if you’re looking for relief for a breathing issue but have also felt self-conscious about the appearance of your nose, you may wish to ask your surgeon about combining the two surgeries. This is what’s known as a septorhinoplasty, and it allows the surgeon to fix the deviated septum while also making aesthetic changes to the nose.

Choosing the Right Procedure

When it comes to choosing the right procedure, most patients will have a pretty strong sense of which surgery is right for them. Again, it is really just a question of whether you are looking to correct the function of your nose, change the form of your nose, or both.

However, to ensure you’re picking the right procedure, and that you have the right expectations about your surgical outcomes, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our providers here at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.

Learn More About Getting Septoplasty vs Rhinoplasty

Charlotte Plastic Surgery is one of the most trusted practices in the greater Charlotte area. We have helped countless patients make informed decisions about their surgical needs, whether that means septoplasty, rhinoplasty, or a combination of the two.

We would love to tell you more about the plastic surgery solutions available to you. The best way to begin is with a one-on-one consultation with one of our providers. To schedule an appointment at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, please contact us at your convenience.