Functional rhinoplasty


Nasal surgery can be necessary from a medical point of view. The most common reason for a so called functional nasal correction is the improvement of impaired nasal breathing.

This can be caused by different reasons such as misalignment of the whole nose (crooked nose) or devation of the nasal septum. Frequent symptoms of a deviated nasal septum are besides impaired nasal breathing, dry mucosa, nasal bleeding, snoring, limited ability to smell, headache and inflammation of the paranal sinuses (sinusitis). Often the combined correction of the nose from the functional and aesthetical point of view is reasonable, because shape and function frequently stay in close connection to each other.

At a Glance

Medical Term: Septoplasty, Turbinoplasty, Turbinectomy

Type of Anesthesia: General Anesthesia

Surgery time: 1 to 2 hours

Length of hospital stay: outpatient

Aftercare: Splints and cast for 1 week, if necessary tamponades for 1-2 days

Back to public: 1-3 days

Back to work: after few days

Time of recovery: 3-4 weeks

Fees: health insurance / starting at 8.000 CHF

Types of surgery

Following functional surgeries of the nose are offered in the clinic utoquai:

Operation of the nasal septum (Septoplasty, reconstruction of the septum):

This is mostly performed by straightening the nasal septum. Therefore, partial resection of the septum or in severe cases even a complete removal and re-insetting of the septum (extracorporal septoplasty or septal reconstruction) is necessary.

Operation of the nasal concha (Turbinoplasty, turbinectomy):

Here protecting the nasal mucosa the bony parts of the nasal concha are crushed and thoroughly removed until sufficient circulation of air is possible.

Operation of the nasal valves:

Here especially the inner nasal valves (opening angle between nasal septum and upper lateral cartilages) are widened by insertion of cartilage grafts (Spreader Grafts) or by infolding of local cartilage (Spreader Flaps, autospreaders), so that no collapse occurs during breathing.

Correction of crooked noses:

Here it is often necessary to correct both the internal (mostly nasal septum) and external (bony nose) deviation, resulting in both an improved function and shape.

Coverage of defects of the nasal septum:

Following traumatic injury, cocaine use or nasal operations not healing holes of the nasal septum (septal perforation) may occur, which can be closed whether by local mucosa or by use of transplants (temporal fascia).

Correction of saddle nose deformity:

“Collapse” of the nasal dorsum may occur after failed rhinoplasties or traumatic injuries, which has to be frequently corrected by use of body’s own cartilage from ear or rib, leading to an improvement of function and shape.


Functional nasal corrections are usually performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Smaller functional operations (Septoplasty, Turbinoplasty) may be performed through a closed approach (incisions inside the nose) only. Frequently, the functional part of the operation presents as a surgical step of a combined aesthetic and functional rhinoplasty. The aim of every successful nasal surgery is to harmonize the aesthetic shape and nasal function to each other. Besides full anesthesia surgery is performed under additional injection of local anesthetics with vasoconstrictors (vessel narrowing substances), thus allowing to operate bloodlessly, consequently resulting in less visible swelling after surgery when compared to conventional procedures.


Possible complications after functional nasal surgeries are comparable to those after an aesthetic rhinoplasty. Typical swelling and “blue marks” (bruising) may occur within the first days after surgery. Breathing may be impaired in the beginning as a consequence of swelling of the inside of the nose. Bleedings, infections and other severe incidents are very rarely seen.

Post-Op Care

Exclusive functional nasal operations without any correction oft he shape often require taping and silicone sheets only, which can already be removed after 1 week. In cases where an additional aesthetic rhinoplasty is performed combined taping and casting is required. Return to job following functional procedures is possible within few days. Sports and intense physical activities can already be performed after 3-4 weeks.


The costs for exclusive functional operations of the nose are often paid by the responsible health insurance. If an aesthetic rhinoplasty is additionally desired, these extra fees are paid by the patient. The amount of the costs is associated wih the extent of the correction, the length of surgery and the required material. All fees are discussed prior to surgery, accordingly you will not be confronted with unexpected costs.

Price for functional rhinoplasty: from 8.000 CHF (or paid by health insurance)


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