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Rhinoplasty or Septoplasty: Which One Do I Need?

Posted May 03, 2024 in Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty

Female touching her nose

Many people think that rhinoplasty and septoplasty procedures are the same thing, falling under the category of a “nose job.” This blog explores the differences between rhinoplasty and septoplasty so that you know what to expect when considering nose surgery.

4 Min Read:

Everyone knows the nose plays a major part in a first impression. Are you unhappy with the appearance of your nose? Is it too big, too long, or crooked due to an injury? Or perhaps you struggle with difficulty breathing through your nose, chronic sinus problems, or frequent nosebleeds. If any of these sound like issues you’re dealing with, you may need rhinoplasty or septoplasty.

Many people think that rhinoplasty and septoplasty procedures are the same thing, both falling under the category of a “nose job.” While each one is a surgery to correct aspects of your nose, they address different things. In this blog, we explore the differences between rhinoplasty and septoplasty so that you know what to expect (and what not to expect) from your nose surgery.

The Anatomy of Your Nose

Though your nose may seem like a pretty simple part of your face, it is actually made up of several important elements. The outside of your nose consists of cartilage, bone, and skin. It protects the interior workings of your nose, which are found in the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity, which is divided into two symmetrical sections, contains four systems that help you breathe, smell, and filter the air that you breathe.


Your septum primarily consists of cartilage, with a little bit of bone. It acts as the divider between the two sides of your nasal cavity.

Nasal Vestibule

The nasal vestibule is the entrance to your nose, found inside your nostrils and lined with hair. 


Small, bony structures inside your nose that warm up cold air or cool down warm air when you breathe, turbinates also filter allergens and particles from the air you inhale.

Olfactory System

Found in the roof of your nasal cavity, the olfactory system is responsible for your sense of smell.

The nasal cavity is surrounded by your paranasal sinuses, which is where mucus is produced and where you might feel pressure or pain if you are congested. So, how does all of this relate to nose surgery?

What Is Septoplasty?

You’ve probably heard someone say they have a deviated septum. A deviated septum is when your septum is somehow dislodged or shifted from its natural spot in the middle of your nasal cavity. This may be the result of trauma to your nose or something you were born with. Whatever the cause, a deviated septum can make it difficult to breathe through your nose or inhibit sinus drainage, resulting in recurring sinus infections. 

As the name suggests, septoplasty is the repair or restoration of the septum. It is a procedure to straighten the septum, moving it back into its proper position. Any excess or damaged cartilage can also be removed during septoplasty. 

When performed alone, septoplasty strictly addresses the interior structure of your nose, and does not address any cosmetic issues. 

What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is what most people are referring to when they talk about a “nose job.” It is performed to enhance the aesthetic appearance of your face. Rhinoplasty is designed to correct several cosmetic issues, including:

  • A nose that is too large
  • A nose that is too long
  • A wide nasal bridge
  • A crooked nasal bridge
  • Bumps on the nasal bridge
  • A drooping, bulbous, or asymmetrical nasal tip
  • Nostrils that are too wide

A rhinoplasty improves your overall facial balance, ensuring your nose complements your other facial features.

Do You Need a Septoplasty or Rhinoplasty?

In short, a septoplasty addresses the function of your nose, and a rhinoplasty addresses the appearance of your nose. However, you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. Septoplasty and rhinoplasty surgeries are often performed together to ensure that your nose is functioning exactly as it should and so you can also feel confident in its aesthetics. 

Learn More About Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty in Fresno

If you’re still confused about which type of surgery you may need, the best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark A. Chin, a board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly skilled and experienced in both procedures. He will examine your nose, discuss your concerns, and let you know if you need a septoplasty, rhinoplasty (or both!) to achieve optimal results. To learn which procedure is right for you, call Valley Institute of Plastic Surgery Today at (559) 382-9654 or complete the online contact form.