Some people are lucky to win the genetic lottery. They have a nose that looks great and functions well. Others end up with breathing problems thanks to a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates. On the flip side, some people have no trouble breathing, but aren’t happy about the way their nose looks.
Then there are folks who seem to have to struck out on both front. They have chronic sinus infections and trouble breathing through their nose. To add insult to injury, they aren’t particularly happy about the way their nose looks, either. While people tend to think about nasal surgery as an “either/or” proposition – either you have surgery to fix the way your nose looks or the way it functions – it is possible to kill two birds with one stone and fix the way your nose looks and functions. Combining rhinoplasty and sinus surgery lets you do exactly that.
Signs Rhinoplasty and Sinus Surgery Are Right for You
When it comes to treating sinus infections, the first course of action is usually to try less invasive treatments. Your doctor will most likely recommend rinsing your nasal cavities with saline (saltwater), using pain relievers to reduce the pain and, if the infection is caused by bacteria, taking antibiotics.
While those treatments do help plenty of people with sinus issues, if your sinus problems persist or are caused by a physical abnormality in your nose, surgery is usually the most effective option. Sinus surgery can help reduce the size of turbinates and nasal polyps. It can also remove any scar tissue that might be affecting the sinuses or eliminate other tissue that might be creating a blockage.
Since sinus surgery isn’t the first course of action for people with sinus problems, your surgeon will usually only recommend it if your sinusitis doesn’t resolve with other treatments. Occasionally, people with sinus troubles also have a deviated septum, which can make breathing even more difficult. The septum usually leans to one side or the other and can lean so far over that it limits the amount of air that can get through. If your surgeon finds that you have a deviated septum, he might recommend a surgery called septoplasty to correct it.
If you’re also hoping to change the appearance of your nose as well as its function, rhinoplasty as well as sinus surgery or septoplasty might be right for you. During a consultation with a surgeon, you can discuss what features of your nose you’d like changed, from its size to it shape. Some people want a smaller nose, others want a larger one. You might want a tip that is less droopy or you might want to correct a bump or divot on the bridge of your nose.
Since sinus surgery, septoplasty, and rhinoplasty are all surgeries and do have some risks, your surgeon will want to make sure you are as healthy as possible before agreeing to perform the procedure. You might need to have a medical exam and certain tests run beforehand. If you take any medications, let your surgeon know, as some medicines can increase your risk for bleeding or other complications during or after surgery.
Benefits of Combining Surgeries
Combining nasal surgeries offers you some benefits. Although the surgery itself will take longer compared to having just a rhinoplasty or just sinus surgery performed, the total time needed will be reduced, since you won’t have to schedule two separate procedures. Your surgeon might also be able to use the cartilage removed during septoplasty to increase the size of your nose or correct the nasal tip during rhinoplasty.
Another benefit of combining surgeries is that you’ll have a shorter overall recovery period. Instead of allowing yourself one week to recover from sinus surgery and another to cover from rhinoplasty, you can recover from both simultaneously. Additionally, since you need less anesthesia for a combined surgery compared to two separate procedures and you need less of the surgeon’s time, one combined procedure is usually more affordable than two separate procedures.
What Happens During Rhinoplasty and Sinus Surgery?
Usually, the surgeon will perform the corrective part of the surgery first. That means the sinus surgery will come before the rhinoplasty, since the sinuses are behind the rest of the nose. After the surgeon corrects any issues in the sinus cavities, he will begin the rhinoplasty portion of the procedure.
After the surgeries, it’s common to have some swelling in the nose, as well as bruising near the nose and eyes. You might notice that the bruising and swelling get worse about a day after surgery. Cold compresses and pain relievers can help to minimize swelling and help you feel more comfortable after your surgery. Many people feel ready to rejoin the world a week or two after a combined rhinoplasty and sinus surgery procedure.
ABOUT DR. RUBINSTEIN
Dr. Rubinstein has nearly sixteen years of experience in helping patients with sinus and other nasal problems in the Hudson Valley. A board certified facial plastic surgeon and board certified otolaryngologist, he has extensive knowledge of laser procedures, facial plastic surgery, and nasal and sinus treatments, which allows him to improve aesthetics as well as functionality of the nose and facial features. Dr. Rubinstein received his board certifications through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. To learn more about combining rhinoplasty and sinus surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubinstein at the Hudson Valley Sinus Center by calling 845-562-6673.