Functional Nasal Surgery in Syracuse & Rochester, NY

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What is a Functional Rhinoplasty?

Many people think that rhinoplasty, or “nose surgery” is a cosmetic surgery to change the appearance of the nose. However, functional nasal surgery refers to the surgery of the nose to help improve the breathing function of the nose. There are many structural component of the nose and the nasal passage

How do I know if I am a patient who will benefit from functional nasal surgery?

Many people deal with nasal airway obstruction. The most common causes include environmental allergies or the common cold which will resolve either with time or with medical treatments. However, for a subset of patients, the structural or the anatomic aspect of the nose is the cause of nasal airway obstruction. These people will benefit from functional rhinoplasty based on medical necessity. Generally, patients have already undergone medical treatments from their primary care providers, for example, allergy test and/or allergy medications. However, if patients continue to have problems despite medical treatments, or if a physical exam or imaging study reveals obvious structural problem with the nose, they will benefit from functional rhinoplasty.

Some patients have collapsing of the nose when they are inhaling deep or rapidly. These is called dynamic nasal valve collapse. Others may notice a pitched appearance or crooked appearance of their noses at rest, with constant blockage at all times.

What can cause obstructive nasal airway?

There are numerous causes for structural issues of the nose that can lead to nasal airway obstruction. These include, a history of trauma to the nose, hereditary or congenital (some are just born with it), chronic inflammation, or as part of the aging process.

What is involved in functional nasal surgery?

Most commonly, we will start by addressing the septum, the wall that separates the left and right nose. If there is deviation or irregularity of the septum that is causing blockage of the nasal airway, we will correct that often by removing the involved segment of the cartilage.

Next, we will address the nasal valve. This may be as simple as improving the strength of the nose, by using the septal cartilage to create a graft – which is like a built-in “breathe-right” strip with your own cartilage. Other times, we may need to widen the internal nasal valve – again most often using the patient’s own septal cartilage as a graft.

How long does it take to recover from a nasal valve repair procedure?

This depends on the extent of the procedure. If the patients problem can be adequately addressed via the endonasal approach (“closed”) nasal valve repair procedure, patients will often return to work in a few days. Most patients do not require any nasal packing and should be able to breathe through their nose after a few days. Sutures are placed inside the nose and they are dissolving sutures.

If the patient requires a septoplasty with more extensive nasal surgery, such as the functional open rhinoplasty, they will have a small incision under the nose and possibly a splint outside the nose. The small suture under the nose and the splint outside the nose will be removed at day 7 after the surgery. The patient may resume desk activities a few days after the surgery, but outdoor activity or exertion should be avoided for about 10 days. Aerobic exercises may be resumed after 2 weeks with intensity increased gradually thereafter.

Will functional nasal surgery change the appearance of my nose?

Sometimes, functional nasal surgery may change the appearance of the nose. For example, a pinched nasal valve will appear more open following nasal valve repair. However, in the vast majority of cases, functional nasal surgery should not significantly changes the appearance of the nose. The goal of functional nasal surgery is to improve the structural component of the nose.

Now some patients may inquire about combining this with a cosmetic procedure to alter the shape of the nose at the same time – most common requests includes refining the tip, or removing the hump. This is often times performed during functional nasal surgery, but the cosmetic part of the procedure will be considered elective and will not be covered by insurance. The total cost of the cosmetic component of surgery will be clearly disclosed to the patient during the consultation visit if patient wishes to add-on the cosmetic component at the same time as the functional nasal surgery.

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Amazing results - so grateful I had such a skilled surgeon - Amazing results … I’m so happy I made the decision to go ahead with the surgery. It was more of a healing process than I originally thought and I’m so grateful I had such a skilled surgeon. Don’t just trust anyone!

H. RealSelf

They are very respectable to people. I was surprised they had you in early.I was usually out by my appointment time.Very satisfied with my surgery.

L.L. Google

Initial appt. could be longer and more explained. Overall a 5

S.L. Healthgrades

Was very satisfied with my visits. The staff is friendly, and Dr. Kim was very skilled and helped me with my issues. Would highly recommend.!!!

L.K. Google

Unlike many doctor's offices, I never have to wait more than five or 10 minutes at most. The staff is wonderful. They are attentive and friendly. Dr. Sang is a magician! His "bedside manner" is professional yet gentle, always carefully explaining the procedure he is performing. I've been a patient for several years now and have never been disappointed.

J.C. Google


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