Rhinoplasty vs Septoplasty: Understanding the Differences

rhinoplasty vs septoplasty

Both rhinoplasty and septoplasty are surgical procedures related to the nose, yet they serve distinct purposes. In this blog, we will look into the specifics and contrasts between the two procedures and who might benefit from each procedure. Rhinoplasty addresses the nose's appearance, while septoplasty addresses the internal cartilage and bone of the nose. Typically, rhinoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, while septoplasty is considered medically necessary.

Rhinoplasty is also known as a nose job. It can:

  • Correct the size, shape, and symmetry of the nose
  • Fix a deviated septum or a broken nose
  • Improve breathing

Septoplasty can:

  • Correct deformities of the internal nasal structure
  • Treat difficulty in breathing

Rhinoplasty is usually considered a cosmetic procedure, while septoplasty is generally considered medically necessary. Recovery from rhinoplasty can take up to a year. Septoplasty recovery is usually shorter.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses both cosmetic and functional aspects of the nose. It involves reshaping the nasal bones and cartilage to enhance the nose's appearance and correct structural defects that might impact breathing. This procedure aims not only to achieve aesthetic improvements but also to optimise nasal function, making it an option for individuals seeking both cosmetic enhancements and functional adjustments for improved overall nasal health and appearance.

Rhinoplasty is a permanent body modification procedure. The results can last a lifetime, but a second surgery may be needed to adjust cosmetic changes. Rhinoplasty can:

  • Enhance facial harmony
  • Improve breathing
  • Change the way the nose looks

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure that takes 1.5 to 3 hours. Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at altering the appearance of the nose.

Who Might Get Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty can change the size, shape or proportions of the nose. It may be done to fix issues from an injury, correct a birth defect or improve some breathing problems.

  • Cosmetic Enhancement: Individuals seeking to reshape or resize their nose for aesthetic reasons.
  • Corrective Purposes: Addressing breathing difficulties or nasal deformities due to injury or birth defects.

Some reasons for getting a rhinoplasty include:

  • A crooked septum
  • A bump on the bridge of the nose
  • A wide nose
  • Breathing problems
  • Low self-esteem due to the size, shape, or symmetry of the nose
  • A drooping tip

Some good candidates for rhinoplasty include:

  • People in good health
  • People without heart conditions
  • People without lung conditions
  • People who are not pregnant or nursing
  • People who don't smoke
  • People who can pause alcohol consumption
  • People with realistic expectations about the procedure

What is Septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure primarily focused on the nasal septum, the wall that separates the nostrils. This procedure aims to straighten or adjust the septum to improve nasal functionality. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that treats the deviated septum. The procedure involves repositioning the nasal septum to the middle of the nose. This can improve breathing and airflow through the nose.

Septoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure. Most people can go home the same day. Recovery from septoplasty is less complicated than other nose surgeries. Patients can generally resume normal activities within 3–4 weeks. However, it can take up to three months for the nose to fully heal. There is usually little pain after surgery. If there is discomfort, the surgeon may recommend over-the-counter pain medication.

Septoplasty is considered a medically necessary procedure. It differs from rhinoplasty, a cosmetic procedure that addresses the nose's appearance.

Who Might Get Septoplasty?

People with a deviated septum and nasal obstruction may need a septoplasty. In addition, healthcare providers may recommend septoplasty to remove nasal polyps and treat chronic sinusitis.

  • Functional Improvement: Individuals experiencing breathing issues due to a deviated septum, causing nasal obstruction or difficulties.
  • Medical Necessity: Patients with recurring sinus infections or other nasal conditions caused by septal deviations.

A septoplasty is a surgery that straightens a deviated septum. A deviated septum is a nasal septal deformity that can cause several problems, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive snoring
  • Nasal obstruction
  • A sensation of nasal blockage

Some people who may be good candidates for a septoplasty include those who:

  • Have a deviated septum
  • Snore excessively
  • Have nasal obstruction
  • Have allergies
  • Have narrow nasal passages

Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

Rhinoplasty addresses the nose's appearance, while septoplasty addresses the internal cartilage and bone of the nose. Typically, rhinoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, while septoplasty is considered medically necessary. Rhinoplasty is a larger operation than septoplasty and is more likely to cause bruising. Both procedures require avoiding physical activity for a week after surgery.

Rhinoplasty can:

  • Correct the size, shape, and symmetry of the nose
  • Improve the aesthetic appearance of the nose

Septoplasty can:

  • Improve how you breathe through your nose
  • Straighten the septum





Aesthetic enhancement, correcting nose appearance

Correcting functional issues with the nasal septum


The external appearance of the nose

Internal nasal structure, specifically the nasal septum

Breathing Improvement

It may enhance breathing indirectly if obstructed by shape

Directly improves nasal airflow and breathing

Cosmetic Benefits

Offers cosmetic improvements in addition to functionality

Primarily addresses functional concerns with minimal focus on aesthetics

Typical Candidates

Individuals seeking cosmetic changes in nose appearance

Those experiencing breathing difficulties due to septal issues

Surgical Techniques

Reshaping nasal bones and cartilage, altering the tip, bridge, or nostril size

Correcting the deviated septum by repositioning or removing obstructing tissues

Recovery Time

Several weeks for visible swelling to subside

Typically shorter recovery period with noticeable improvement in breathing within days

Anesthesia Requirement

Generally performed under general anaesthesia

Often conducted under local anaesthesia

Understanding the nuanced differences between these procedures is crucial, as they serve distinct purposes. Remember, while these surgeries address specific aspects of nasal function or appearance, they involve varying techniques and considerations. Always seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate solution for your individual needs.