When there is an alteration to the underlying structure of your nose, it can dramatically affect your breathing. Breathing issues are associated with decreased overall health and difficulty sleeping. Some conditions causing nasal obstruction are congenital, while others develop as the result of an injury. Still, others require a functional rhinoplasty to correct mistakes made during a previous rhinoplasty (commonly referred to as a “nose job.”) Whether you were born with the issue or have undergone trauma to your nasal structure, a functional rhinoplasty in Bellevue with Dr. Ridgway can correct the problem and restore your ability to breathe with ease.

Types of Functional Rhinoplasty Procedures

There are various functional issues that can affect the nose and reduce your ability to breathe normally. As such, Dr. Ridgway offers two unique techniques designed to address your specific issue, open up your nasal airways, and create a nose that functions optimally:


This first procedure is used to treat a deviated septum. The septum is the wall of tissue down the center of the nose that separates the two nostrils and, when correctly positioned, allows for easy airflow during breathing. In some patients, the septum is crooked or off-center, either from birth or due to an injury -- most commonly a broken nose. An off-center septum can narrow one or both of the nasal passages, making breathing difficult. The nostril exposed to the drying effects of greater airflow may also become dry and subject to frequent nosebleeds. A septoplasty corrects the deviated septum by straightening the septum to promote better airflow, typically by repositioning the cartilage of the nose. In cases where insufficient cartilage is present, it may be possible to harvest additional cartilage from the ribcage or another area of the body.

Learn more about septoplasty

Turbinate Reduction

Another common cause of nasal obstruction impacting breathing is the enlargement of the turbinates, which are fleshy shelves comprised of bone and soft tissue that protrude into the nasal passages. They are covered in tiny hairs called cilia that clean, humidify, and warm the air that is inhaled before it proceeds to the lungs. When they become enlarged, they can make it difficult to breathe. Sometimes this condition can be treated with medication alone, but other times a surgical procedure is necessary to reduce their size.

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Rhinoplasties: The Intersection of Function and Beauty

Septoplasty and turbinate reduction are two essentially functional procedures, although the correction of a deviated septum may also cause some improvement to the symmetry of the nose. While some individuals seek a rhinoplasty for functional reasons without wanting to alter the nose’s external appearance, and others are happy with their nose’s functioning but would like to improve its appearance, by far, the most common scenario is a patient who would like to see improvements in both the functional and aesthetic characteristics of the nose. Techniques used during rhinoplasties include the removal, repositioning, or addition of cartilage (harvested from another body site), as well as alterations made to the underlying skeletal structures of the nose.

Schedule a Consultation

If you experience chronic breathing difficulties due to structural abnormalities within the nose, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, Dr. James M. Ridgway. During your private meeting, he will carefully evaluate your nose and collect information about your symptoms, before composing a custom treatment plan designed to create a nose that functions optimally and allows you to breathe with ease.

Schedule a consultation

Schedule A Consultation

If you are ready to refresh and rejuvenate your look today, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of the best plastic surgeons Seattle has to offer: Dr. James M. Ridgway. During your private consultation Dr. Ridgway will carefully evaluate your face and the subtle imperfections that concern you most before providing you with a personalized blend of Bellevue cosmetic surgery procedures that will help you achieve your ideal facial appearance.

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