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Cosmetic Rhinoplasty Versus Medical Rhinoplasty : What is The Difference?

There are a number of different types of rhinoplasty and a number of different reasons why someone might want one. They can be done for purely cosmetic reasons or to correct a medical issue. Let’s take a brief look at some of the differences between medical and cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeries.


  • What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, or as it is more commonly known  a ‘nose job, is surgery to alter, reconstruct or enhance the nose. This is commonly done for cosmetic reasons to make it look nicer, but there are medical reasons to have it done too. Generally, rhinoplasty will involve modifying the bones and/or nasal cartilage. It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.

While most cosmetic surgery procedures seem to be more popular among women, there are a growing number of men looking at rhinoplasty, especially those who play sports and have suffered a broken nose or two in their time!

  • Medical Reasons For Rhinoplasty Surgery

There are a number of medical reasons why someone might end up requiring rhinoplasty surgery. The most common of these would be to repair a nasal fracture since the prominence of the nose makes it more susceptible to damage during accidents, but there are also a number of other medical reasons including the following:

  • Chronic Sinus IssuesIf you are someone who suffers from really severe allergies or sinus congestion, then there is a good chance that some kind of anatomical anomaly in the nasal cavity. The most common of these are nasal polyps and a deviated septum. The procedure to fix these is often referred to as a ‘functional rhinoplasty’ since it is all internal work with no cosmetic element.
  • Accidental Damage – As noted, noses are part of the body which sustains many accidental injuries. It could happen playing sports, in a car accident, falling or in a million other situations. The bones can break and the internal cartilage could be damaged. Rhinoplasty can be used to rectify this issue, especially if a break has left the nose badly crooked or deformed.
  • Cleft Lip or Palate – Rhinoplasty can also be used to correct birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate which affects 1 or 2 babies in every thousand born in the United States.. This is usually done while children born with these are still very young. Repairing this as soon as possibly helps to avoid the child encountering difficulties with eating and/or breathing. However, that is not to say that it cannot be performed on adult sufferers too.
  • How Will Medical Rhinoplasty Differ From Cosmetic Rhinoplasty?

When it comes to differentiating between a medical rhinoplasty and a cosmetic one there is only really one key difference. With a medical rhinoplasty, the main focus is going to be on functional aspects of your nasal area. It will be performed in order to improve your breathing or reduce pain by repairing internal damage or realigning bones for example. On the other hand, a cosmetic surgery is going to be focused entirely on aesthetics. If there is no medical reason for reshaping or realigning the nose then it is considered cosmetic. Regards of which type of surgery you are having, similar techniques are going to be used.

Rhinoplasty can be used to correct a myriad of nasal issues from the medical to the cosmetic. The general procedures are the same it is only the motivations of the patient and the key focus of the surgery which will be slightly different.