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When researching surgical procedures to enhance or correct the function and appearance of the nose, two terms often come up: rhinoplasty and septoplasty. While these surgeries may seem similar due to their focus on the nasal structure, they address different issues and have distinct purposes. Choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon is crucial when considering either of these procedures. Dr. Philip Miller, based in New Orleans, is renowned for his expertise in facial plastic surgery, particularly rhinoplasty. With years of experience and a deep understanding of nasal anatomy, Dr. Miller has helped countless patients achieve their desired results, both cosmetically and functionally.

Rhinoplasty: Sculpting the Nose

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a "nose job," is a cosmetic procedure aimed at changing the nose's shape, size, or proportions. It is one of the most popular plastic surgeries worldwide. Patients often seek rhinoplasty to improve the appearance of their nose, whether it’s to correct a hump, a drooping tip, or asymmetry.

The procedure can be open or closed. In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes an incision across the columella (the strip of tissue separating the nostrils), allowing for greater visibility and precision in reshaping the nasal structure. Closed rhinoplasty involves incisions within the nostrils, which results in no visible scarring. 

Rhinoplasty focuses on aesthetics and can address functional issues, such as breathing difficulties, when combined with other procedures. This dual approach is often called functional rhinoplasty.

Septoplasty: Correcting Nasal Function

In contrast, septoplasty is a medical procedure primarily intended to correct a deviated septum. In this condition, the nasal septum (the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity) is off-center or crooked, causing breathing difficulties. A deviated septum can lead to chronic nasal congestion, sinus infections, nosebleeds, and sleep apnea.

During septoplasty, the surgeon repositions and straightens the septum, which may involve removing excess cartilage or bone. Unlike rhinoplasty, septoplasty focuses solely on function rather than appearance, though some patients might notice minor changes in the shape of their nose as a byproduct of the surgery.

Key Differences

The primary difference between rhinoplasty and septoplasty lies in their objectives: rhinoplasty is cosmetic and often functional, aiming to enhance the nose’s appearance and occasionally improve breathing, while septoplasty is purely functional, correcting internal structural issues to improve nasal airflow.

It’s not uncommon for patients to combine rhinoplasty and septoplasty, a procedure known as septorhinoplasty. This approach allows for simultaneous improvement in the nose's appearance and function, addressing aesthetic concerns and breathing difficulties in one surgery.

Expert Insight: Dr. Philip Miller in New Orleans

Dr. Miller’s approach combines advanced surgical techniques with an artistic eye, ensuring that each patient receives personalized care tailored to their unique facial features and medical needs. Whether you’re seeking to enhance the appearance of your nose through rhinoplasty or improve your breathing with septoplasty, consulting with a specialist like Dr. Philip Miller can provide you with the confidence and results you’re looking for.

While rhinoplasty and septoplasty both involve surgical procedures on the nose, they serve different purposes—rhinoplasty focuses on aesthetics and sometimes function, while septoplasty corrects functional issues related to a deviated septum. By understanding these differences and consulting with a qualified surgeon such as Dr. Philip Miller in New Orleans, patients can make informed decisions about the best approach for their needs. Contact our office today to schedule your facial plastic surgery consultation.

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