The Importance of Good Nasal Breathing During Rhinoplasty: Understanding the Relationship Between Aesthetic Enhancement and Functional Nasal Health


Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is a popular cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at improving the shape and overall appearance of the nose. It is generally considered to be one of the hardest plastic surgery procedures to do well. Many excellent facial plastic surgeons in the Houston area perform this procedure. However, some plastic surgeons do not evaluate the nasal airway prior to making a surgical plan and this is a mistake. 

While aesthetic outcomes are typically the primary focus of rhinoplasty, it is equally important to consider the functional aspect of nasal health, particularly in relation to breathing. Normally, sculpting the nose involves some manner of reduction of the nasal cartilages. This will usually result in a reduction in nasal breathing of variable amounts due to nasal side walls sucking inwards during inspiration. If you also have a deviated septum, large turbinates or or severe allergies, this could be a recipe for disaster. 

This blog post, we will explore the significance of good nasal breathing during rhinoplasty and how the balance between aesthetic enhancement and functional improvement plays a crucial role in achieving optimal results and patient satisfaction.

1. Nasal Anatomy and Function:

Before delving into the importance of good nasal breathing during rhinoplasty, it is essential to understand the intricate anatomy and physiology of the nose. The nasal cavity consists of nasal bones, cartilage, mucosa, and turbinates, all of which play key roles in airflow, filtration, and humidification. Proper nasal breathing is essential for optimal respiratory function, as it ensures the passage of air through the nasal airways without obstruction or restriction.

2. The Impact of Rhinoplasty on Nasal Breathing:

Rhinoplasty procedures are designed to reshape the nose to enhance its aesthetic appearance. However, alterations made to the nasal structure during surgery can potentially impact nasal breathing if not carefully planned and executed. Common issues that may arise post-rhinoplasty affecting nasal breathing include:

a) Nasal Obstruction: Changes to the nasal septum, turbinates, or nasal valve can result in nasal obstruction, leading to difficulties in breathing through the nose.

b) Nasal Valve Collapse: Weakening of the nasal valve, a narrow region in the nasal passage responsible for airflow regulation, can occur during rhinoplasty, causing nasal valve collapse and subsequent breathing issues.

c) Deviated Septum: Manipulation of the nasal septum during rhinoplasty can result in deviation, leading to airflow obstruction and nasal breathing difficulties.

Young woman with eyes closed and breathing through her nose

3. The Importance of Functional Rhinoplasty:

The best rhinoplasty surgeons in Houston all know the how important it is to plan for improved nasal function. Functional rhinoplasty refers to the incorporation of corrective measures during aesthetic nasal surgery to ensure optimal nasal breathing postoperatively. By combining aesthetic enhancement with functional improvement, functional rhinoplasty aims to address nasal obstruction, septal deviations, and other breathing-related issues concurrently.

Key principles of functional rhinoplasty include:

a) Preservation of Nasal Anatomy: The best rhinoplasty surrgeons in Houston should prioritize preserving OR IMPROVING the nasal structures essential for proper breathing, such as the nasal septum, turbinates, and nasal valves, while making aesthetic modifications. This means correcting a deviated septum, reducing turbinates if they are too big, removing concha bullosae, correcting nasal valve collapse and testing for allergies and correcting them.

b) Septal Reconstruction: Addressing a deviated septum or correcting septal deviations during rhinoplasty can significantly improve nasal airflow and prevent postoperative breathing problems.

c) Nasal Valve Support: Strengthening the nasal valves or addressing nasal valve collapse during rhinoplasty can enhance nasal breathing and prevent subsequent breathing difficulties.

4. Patient Satisfaction and Long-Term Outcomes:

The success of rhinoplasty is determined not only by the aesthetic improvement achieved but also by the functional improvements in nasal breathing. Patients who undergo functional rhinoplasty experience enhanced overall nasal function, improved airflow, and reduced breathing problems postoperatively. By prioritizing good nasal breathing during rhinoplasty, surgeons can ensure long-term patient satisfaction, functional well-being, and aesthetic harmony.


In conclusion, the importance of good nasal breathing during rhinoplasty cannot be overstated. By considering both aesthetic enhancement and functional nasal health, surgeons can achieve optimal outcomes that balance form and function. Functional rhinoplasty techniques, such as preserving nasal anatomy, addressing septal deviations, and supporting nasal valves, play a crucial role in ensuring successful postoperative nasal breathing.

Patients undergoing rhinoplasty should prioritize discussions about functional considerations with their surgeon to optimize their surgical outcomes and achieve both aesthetic and functional goals. Good nasal breathing is not just a luxury; it is a fundamental aspect of overall nasal health and well-being that should be central to the rhinoplasty process.