Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

Knowing the difference between rhinoplasty and a septoplasty procedure might help you select the best course of action if you’re experiencing aesthetic or functional concerns with your nose. While both procedures aim to address nose-related problems, their objectives can be very different. Both operations are available to patients of Dr. George Brennan so that you can enhance your quality of life and boost your self-confidence. Make sure you comprehend the differences between rhinoplasty & septoplasty if you are worried about your nose and looking for a solution before making a choice.

What Is Rhinoplasty?

A surgical treatment that enables people to improve the size, symmetry, and shape of their noses for a more even appearance is known as rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty Newport Beach may be the most appropriate option if you have cosmetic issues with your nose, such as nasal asymmetry,  depression on the bridge or a nasal hump, an oversized or droopy nasal tip, or large or wide nostrils.

You and your doctor can select whether to perform the rhinoplasty in Orange County as an open or a closed operation. Your columella, the tissue bridge between your nostrils, will bear a very small scar from an open operation. Scarring is not severe and naturally disappears to leave a thin, undetectable line after recuperation is finished. Although there are no exterior incisions after a closed rhinoplasty, it may not be a choice for all patients.

Each Orange County rhinoplasty treatment is unique and personalized by Dr. Brennan to suit your particular nasal anatomy because each patient’s cosmetic issues vary. During various treatments, cartilage transplants from different areas of the ear, nose, or in some circumstances, even a rib, may be used.

Procedure of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

A hospital, a doctor’s office, or perhaps an outpatient surgery facility can all perform rhinoplasty in Orange County CA. General or local anesthesia will be applied by your doctor. If the operation is straightforward, your nose will be given local anesthesia, which will also numb the face. Additionally, you might receive sedatives via an IV line while awake.

During general anesthesia, you will be unconscious by a medicine injected intravenously or through inhalation. General anesthesia is frequently administered to younger patients.

An Orange County cosmetic surgeon will perform cuts between or even inside your nostrils while you’re unconscious or numb. Before beginning the reshaping, they will first separate the skin from your bone or cartilage. Your doctor might take some cartilage from deep inside the nose or from your ear if the new nose requires a small quantity of extra cartilage. If more is required, you might need a bone graft or an implant. A bone graft is an addition of bone towards the bone of your nose.

In most cases, the process lasts less than one hour. Complex surgery may require more time.

Purpose and Goals of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure aimed at correcting and enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the nose. The purposes and goals of this surgery extend beyond mere cosmetic changes; they encompass improving the nose’s structure and functionality for some patients. Individuals may seek rhinoplasty for various reasons, including the correction of abnormalities in the nose’s shape, size, or angle that affect their self-image or cause physical discomfort. Additionally, rhinoplasty can address structural issues that impede breathing passages, improving airflow and respiratory health. The ultimate goal of a rhinoplasty procedure is to achieve a harmonious balance between the nose’s aesthetic appeal and its functional aspects, ensuring that the changes made positively impact the patient’s quality of life.

Surgical Techniques for Rhinoplasty

Surgical techniques for rhinoplasty vary depending on the specific corrections and improvements needed in each case. The procedure can involve:

  • The reshaping of the nasal bone or cartilage.
  • The refining of the nose tip.
  • The narrowing of the nostrils.
  • Adjustments to the overall size and profile of the nose.

There are two primary approaches to rhinoplasty: the open and closed techniques. The open rhinoplasty procedure involves:

  • An incision across the columella.
  • The tissue between the nostrils.
  • Allowing the surgeon full access to the internal structures of the nose for extensive modifications.

Meanwhile, the closed technique involves incisions hidden inside the nostrils, suited for patients requiring minor corrections and changes. Both techniques aim to achieve a natural-looking result that complements the patient’s facial features while maintaining or enhancing nasal functionality.

Recovery from Rhinoplasty

Your doctor might put a metal or plastic splint on your nose following surgery. Your nose’s new shape will be preserved as it heals with the aid of the splint. In order to improve your septum, which refers to the area of your nose between the nostrils, they could also insert splints or nasal packs or splints within your nostrils.

After surgery, you’ll be kept under observation in a recovery area for at least a few hours. Later that day, if all is fine, you’ll depart. You’ll need a ride home since the anesthesia still has an impact on you. (You might need to spend a day or two in the hospital if the procedure is difficult.)

You should sleep with your head raised above the level of your heart to lessen bleeding and swelling. Congestion could be felt if the nose is bloated or cotton-filled. Following surgery, splints as well as dressings should normally be remained on for up until a week. You can have absorbable stitches, which disintegrate over time and don’t need to be taken out. If the stitches aren’t absorbable, you’ll need to see your doctor back within a week of the procedure to have them taken out.

The side effects of the anesthetics used during surgery frequently include memory loss, poor judgment, or slow reaction time. Have a family member or friend stay with you for the first night if at all possible.

You can feel drainage and bleeding for a few days following your procedure. Blood and mucus can be absorbed by a drip pad, which is a piece of gauze put under your nose. How frequently to replace your drip pad will be determined by your doctor.

Your face may feel bloated, you may experience headaches, and your doctor may advise taking painkillers.

Your doctor may advise against the following after your rhinoplasty:

  • running and other physically demanding activities
  • Blowing your nose
  • swimming
  • Laughing, smiling, or making other highly animated facial expressions
  • excessive chewing

Be particularly cautious when exposed to the sun. The skin surrounding your nose could become permanently stained if you consume too much.

In a week, you ought to be able to go back to work or school.

You can experience transient numbness, discoloration, or swelling around your eyelids for several weeks after rhinoplasty. In exceptional circumstances, this could linger for 6 months, and minor swelling might last much longer. Ice packs or cold compresses can be used to reduce swelling and discoloration.

Following a rhinoplasty, follow-up treatment is crucial. Remember to show up for your appointments and do as your rhinoplasty surgeon in Orange County instructs.

What Is Septoplasty?

The septum is a wall or partition that divides the nose into two air chambers. Normally the septum is straight and at the midline. If the septum is crooked, which is called a deviated septum, it can cause obstruction to nasal breathing.

The surgical procedure known as septoplasty addresses functional issues with the nose, such as repairing a crooked or deviated septum. A deviated septum might develop later in life or be brought on by a prior nasal injury. You might be a candidate for such a septoplasty Newport Beach to straighten your deviated septum and improve your breathing if you have trouble breathing from one or both of your nostrils or if you’ve had physical trauma towards the nose which has affected your capacity to breathe.

Depending on the extent of your septal deviation, a closed or open operation can be used to accomplish a septoplasty. To gain access to the bone and cartilage of the septum during a closed operation, a tiny incision is made in the mucosa, the inner lining of the nose. The septum could then be partially removed, trimmed, and relocated, or totally repaired using grafts, according to the individual demands of each patient.

Procedure of Septoplasty

According to the severity of the problem, a septoplasty in Orange County can be finished in 30 minutes. Depending on what both you and the doctor determine is best for you, either general or local anesthesia will be used on you.

The Newport Beach cosmetic surgeon creates an incision along one side of the nose to reach the septum during a routine operation. The surgeon creates an incision along one side of the nose. The mucous membrane, the septum’s protective covering, is then raised. After that, the misaligned septum is repositioned. Any obstacles, such as excess cartilage or bone are taken out. Repositioning the mucous membrane is the final stage.

The membrane and septum may require stitches to remain in place. However, occasionally, simply stuffing cotton inside the nose can suffice to remain in place.

Purpose and Goals of Septoplasty

Septoplasty, in contrast, focuses specifically on correcting defects or deformities of the nasal septum—the cartilage and bone dividing the nasal passages. The primary goal of septoplasty is to enhance functionality rather than make cosmetic changes. Patients typically undergo this surgery due to obstructed airways that can lead to breathing difficulties, chronic sinus infections, or sleep apnea. The procedure aims to straighten the nasal septum, enlarging the passages and facilitating better airflow. Improved breathing function is the central improvement sought with septoplasty, which relieves patients from symptoms caused by septal deviations. Everything about the septoplasty procedure is tailored towards maximizing the efficiency of the nasal airways and addressing any abnormalities that contribute to obstructions.

Surgical Techniques for Septoplasty

The surgical techniques for septoplasty focus on precisely correcting the nasal septum to improve the nasal passages’ functionality. This procedure typically involves an incision inside the nostrils to access the septum. Once exposed, the surgeon carefully removes or realigns the deviated portions of cartilage and bone, creating a straighter pathway that facilitates easier breathing. In some cases, small amounts of tissue may be removed to clear the airway further. The technique emphasizes minimal invasiveness and preservation of the nose’s natural structure, ensuring that the nasal passages are optimized for airflow without altering the nose’s external appearance. The goal is to resolve the functional impairments and improve the patient’s ability to breathe comfortably, addressing everything from chronic congestion to issues related to sleep apnea.

Recovery from Septoplasty

Except in the case of serious problems, Newport Beach septoplasty is often done as an outpatient treatment. As soon as the anesthesia wears off, you will be able to leave the clinic and return home the day following the treatment. Your nose may be painful, swollen, and covered in cotton to stop the bleeding. After the surgery, the packing could be taken off in a day or two. As required, your surgeon will also recommend painkillers.

Ibuprofen, aspirin, and other blood thinners may be advised against by your doctor. This reduces the possibility of post-procedure bleeding issues.

For several weeks following surgery, you should also restrict your physical activity to help with healing and reduce swelling. This comprises the majority of strenuous activities, such as jogging, weightlifting, and participating in contact sports. These actions may raise blood pressure and cause significant bleeding.

The following are tips for faster recovery:

  • raising the top of your head during the night to reduce swelling
  • After surgery, refrain from blowing the nose for at least 3 days.
  • putting on front-button shirts to avoid having to pull clothes over your head

Risks and Complications Associated with Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

While rhinoplasty and septoplasty are generally safe and effective surgical procedures designed to improve the form and functionality of the nose, like all surgeries, they carry potential risks and complications. Understanding these is crucial for patients considering these procedures, as it allows for informed decision-making and preparation for a smooth recovery process.

For Rhinoplasty:

Rhinoplasty, aimed at correcting and improving the nose’s structure and appearance, can involve several risks and complications, including:

  • Infection: Though rare, infection is a possible complication following any surgery. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to minimize this risk.
  • Bleeding: Some patients may experience bleeding during or after the procedure, which usually resolves independently but sometimes requires further treatment.
  • Breathing Difficulties: Alterations to the nasal structure can sometimes result in temporary or, rarely, permanent breathing problems.
  • Anesthesia Reactions: Adverse reactions to anesthesia are always possible, though thorough pre-surgical assessments aim to minimize this risk.
  • Unsatisfactory Results or Need for Revision Surgery: Not all patients are satisfied with their outcomes, and some may require additional surgeries to achieve their desired results.
  • Nasal Septal Perforation: A rare complication where a hole in the nasal septum develops, possibly causing chronic nosebleeds, whistling noises, and breathing difficulties.

For Septoplasty:

Septoplasty focuses on correcting deviations of the nasal septum to enhance nasal functionality, and its associated risks include:

  • Persistent Symptoms: Despite successful surgery, some patients may continue to experience symptoms such as nasal obstruction or sinus infections.
  • Altered Sense of Smell: After septoplasty, temporary or, very rarely, permanent changes in smell perception can occur.
  • Septal Hematoma: Blood accumulating within the septum can lead to pressure and discomfort, requiring prompt medical attention.
  • Change in Nose Shape: Occasionally, changes in the external shape of the nose occur, although septoplasty primarily targets internal structures.
  • Adhesions or Scar Tissue: Scar tissue between the septum and turbinates may form, potentially obstructing the nasal passages.

Both rhinoplasty and septoplasty necessitate a comprehensive evaluation and discussion between the patient and surgeon. This ensures that the patient has realistic expectations and understands the potential outcomes and risks. Post-operative care is also paramount in mitigating risks and promoting a swift recovery. Following the surgeon’s instructions, attending follow-up appointments, and promptly reporting any concerns are key steps patients can take to reduce the likelihood of complications and achieve the best possible results from their surgery.

Factors to Consider when Deciding between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

When deciding between rhinoplasty and septoplasty, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Medical Need: The primary factor to consider when choosing between rhinoplasty and septoplasty is your medical need. If you have a deviated septum or other nasal structural issues that are causing functional problems like difficulty breathing, snoring, or chronic sinus infections, septoplasty may be the better option. However, if you are primarily concerned with the appearance of your nose, or you have both functional and cosmetic concerns, rhinoplasty surgery in Orange County may be more appropriate.
  2. Goals: Consider what you hope to achieve with the surgery. If you are looking to improve the appearance of your nose, rhinoplasty may be the better choice. If you are more concerned about improving your breathing or treating a medical issue, septoplasty may be the better choice.
  3. Recovery Time: Recovery time may be an important factor to consider, especially if you have busy work or family life. Septoplasty is typically a shorter and less invasive procedure than rhinoplasty, and patients usually recover more quickly. However, your individual recovery time will depend on the extent of your surgery and your overall health.
  4. Risks and Complications: As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with both rhinoplasty and septoplasty. It’s important to discuss these with your cosmetic surgeon in California and weigh the risks against the potential benefits.
  5. Cost: The cost of rhinoplasty and septoplasty can vary depending on a number of factors, including the extent of the surgery and your geographic location. Rhinoplasty in Newport Beach CA is typically more expensive than septoplasty, due to its cosmetic nature and the more extensive surgical techniques involved.
  6. Surgeon’s Expertise: Finally, it’s important to choose a surgeon who is experienced in the type of surgery you are considering. Look for an Orange County rhinoplasty specialist who is expert in cosmetic surgery or otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat surgery), and who has a track record of successful surgery in the area you are interested in. Ask for before-and-after photos of their previous patients to get a sense of their work.

What are the differences between Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty?

You already comprehend the purposes of both septoplasty and rhinoplasty after we outlined each procedure. Although the two nose procedures have many similarities, as you can see from their definitions, they aim for different goals.

Having two separate things eventually means having two different things to do, right? If someone needs to alter the appearance of their nose, they will need a rhinoplasty. However, if they want to fully restore their nasal function, a Septoplasty in Newport Beach California could be the only surgical choice.

While a rhinoplasty can alter the size, symmetry, or shape of the nose, a septoplasty fixes a crooked septum within the nose. Simply, an internal septoplasty is different from an exterior rhinoplasty. This means that a septoplasty won’t cause you to notice a change right away, but a rhinoplasty will result in an obvious difference in your nose.


While both rhinoplasty and septoplasty involve surgical procedures on the nose, they are different in terms of their goals and the issues they address. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that is used to correct a deviated septum, which can cause breathing difficulties, snoring, and recurrent sinus infections. Rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is a cosmetic procedure that is used to reshape or resize the nose for aesthetic purposes.

Septoplasty can result in improved airflow through the nose and alleviate blockage caused by a deviated septum. It can also improve the function of the nasal airway, allowing for better breathing and reducing the risk of sinus infections. Rhinoplasty, on the other hand, can improve the appearance of the nose, boosting self-confidence and improving self-esteem.

It’s worth noting that in some cases, both procedures may be performed together to address both functional and aesthetic issues with the nose. If you are experiencing breathing difficulties, chronic sinus infections, or are unhappy with the appearance of your nose, it is important to consult with the best rhinoplasty surgeon in Orange County to determine the best course of action. By doing so, you can improve the function and appearance of your nose, and enjoy the results for a better quality of life.

Contact Us Today

Contact Dr. George Brennan Cosmetic Surgeon & Medical Spa at (949) 644-1641 for more information to help you decide if a septoplasty or rhinoplasty is the best option for you. You can also set up a consultation online. By going over your options, expectations, and concerns with you, Dr. Brennan will get you ready for the procedure using his years of expertise with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.