Non-Cosmetic Reasons to Consider Rhinoplasty

As one of the country’s top plastic surgeons, Dr. Michael Macdonald at Aesthetic Surgery Center in San Francisco, California, transforms the faces of thousands of patients who want to refine their features and gain confidence in their appearance.

But Dr. Macdonald does more than chisel chins and define cheekbones. He also performs procedures that improve your health and well-being. One such procedure — rhinoplasty — has several non-cosmetic applications. Here are a few of the reasons you might consider rhinoplasty even if you love the look of your nose.

Who needs rhinoplasty?

Many people think of rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, as a purely cosmetic procedure that can change the shape, size, and position of the nose. And by that definition, nobody needs rhinoplasty, although many people want it. 

But that definition of rhinoplasty is incomplete. This popular procedure also addresses real medical concerns that hinder breathing and sleeping. People who suffer from chronic sinus problems or have certain birth defects may need a type of rhinoplasty called revision rhinoplasty to restore breathing and sleep quality.

There are two main types of revision rhinoplasty:


Your nasal septum is a flexible piece of cartilage in your nose that separates your nostrils. If your septum deviates to one side or the other, it restricts your airflow. Dr. Macdonald can straighten or repair your damaged or misaligned septum so you can enjoy unobstructed breathing.

As part of your septoplasty procedure, Dr. Macdonald may also perform a treatment called Coblation® inferior turbinate reduction if warranted. On each side of your nose, you have a turbinate — a thin, long bone lined with soft membranes that warm and humidify the air you breathe. If your turbinates or their membranes become inflamed, you may have a constant runny nose, obstructive sleep apnea, and frequent sinus infections. To shrink the swollen turbinates, Dr. Macdonald uses a slender probe that delivers radiofrequency energy to treat the tissues.


Septorhinoplasty is a combination procedure that includes the medically necessary septoplasty and the cosmetic benefits of rhinoplasty. This is a good choice if you have some aesthetic issues you’d like Dr. Macdonald to address at the same time he’s correcting your septum or turbinate problems. 

When is rhinoplasty medically warranted?

Dr. Macdonald’s top priority is your health. If you’re experiencing a medical issue related to your nose or nasal passages, there’s no better physician to correct the condition. In fact, many of Dr. Macdonald’s colleagues refer their most difficult cases to him.

Here are a few of the medically warranted reasons patients may need rhinoplasty: 

A broken nose

Not only does a fracture cause a kink or bump in your nose, but it may also cause breathing problems and sinus infections. 

Narrow nasal passages

Narrow nasal passages obstruct your breathing, which means you may not be getting enough oxygen. Whether you were born with narrow sinuses, suffered an injury, have a deviated septum, or your sinuses are collapsing as you get older, Dr. Macdonald can reconstruct and fortify them.

Birth defects

As babies develop in the mother’s womb, sometimes the facial features don’t completely grow and fuse together. This is what happens in a condition called a cleft palate or a cleft lip — an extreme dent or gap in the upper lip that often affects the nose.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Known for the classic symptom of loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes your breathing to stop multiple times throughout the night. It happens when the muscles and soft tissues in the back of your throat relax and block your airway, but it can also happen if your nasal passages are blocked or restricted. 

Post-surgery repair

Some brain surgeries are performed through the nasal cavity when that entry point provides a surgeon with the best access point. Afterward, the nasal cavity needs serious repair from a plastic surgeon like Dr. Macdonald, who has the skill to perform this complex procedure.

If you’re having trouble breathing through your nose, you may have a condition that warrants non-cosmetic rhinoplasty. To find out more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Macdonald — request an appointment online or call us today.

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