Septoplasty & Rhinoplasty: Key Differences to Be Aware Of


If you had to ask people why they decided to have nose surgery, many would probably have an answer that involved correcting a deviated septum. 

A deviated septum is a very common problem but one that can be fixed with surgery. However, there seems to be some ongoing confusion about how this problem is corrected and how it differs from traditional rhinoplasty. 

Septoplasty is the name of the procedure that’s used to correct a deviated and it’s not the same as rhinoplasty. The two procedures can be combined to achieve optimal results though. 

If you are considering nasal surgery, here is what you need to know about septoplasty versus rhinoplasty.

The Reason for Surgery

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This is one of the key differences between rhinoplasty and septoplasty. The goal of septoplasty is to correct a deviated septum, which causes congestion as well as regular breathing problems. 

Rhinoplasty, on the other hand, can be performed for one of several reasons. Rhinoplasty patients are either changing the shape or size of their nose, smoothing out bumps or restoring the appearance of their nose after an accident. 

According to, rhinoplasty can also be performed to improve the functionality of the nose. A deviated septum isn’t always the reason why someone experiences breathing difficulties. Sometimes the shape of the nose can have the same effect, which is when rhinoplasty can help. 

The Insurance Coverage

This is another difference between rhinoplasty and septoplasty. Most insurance providers will cover a septoplasty treatment because it’s medically necessary. 

If rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons, there are very few insurance providers that will cover the procedure. If the nose is being corrected after trauma, however, there is still a chance that it will be covered by insurance. Coverage varies between providers, so you would need to speak to your insurance company about your options.

The Procedure

In most cases, a general anaesthetic will be used to complete a septoplasty procedure. Since all of the work will be done inside the nose, the incisions will be well hidden, which won’t be the case for rhinoplasty patients. 

During a septoplasty, the surgeon will remove some of the septum or simply reposition it. In some instances, the septum may be replaced with a splint. As you can imagine, a rhinoplasty procedure is usually more complex, especially if the required change is quite dramatic. 

The Recovery

Both rhinoplasty and septoplasty patients can expect to go home on the same day as their procedures but will require someone to drive them home. It’s also recommended that you have someone to assist you at home for a day or two after your procedure.

Septoplasty patients don’t usually need to take as much time off work, while rhinoplasty patients may require up to two weeks of leave. You will need to take it easy after both procedures though. This means being very careful not to do anything that could bump or damage your nose. You should also avoid blowing your nose as much as possible after surgery. 

Your surgeon will provide you with specific aftercare instructions after your procedure that should be carefully followed.

To find out whether septoplasty or rhinoplasty is the better choice for you, schedule a consultation with a reputable and experienced nasal surgeon.