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Clarifying Nose Surgery | Rhinoplasty vs Septoplasty: What is the difference?

By: Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh


Nose surgeries are often dis cussed interchangeably, but the distinction between rhinoplasty and septoplasty is significant. While both aim to address nasal issues, they serve vastly different purposes. Understanding the nuances between rhinoplasty and septoplasty can help individuals make informed decisions regarding their nasal health and appearance.

Rhinoplasty vs Septoplasty Summary:

Purpose of Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty: 

Rhinoplasty focuses on aesthetic improvements to the nose, while septoplasty is specifically aimed at correcting functional issues related to a deviated septum and improving breathing.

Procedure breakdown:

Rhinoplasty involves reshaping the external structure of the nose, including bones, cartilage, and skin, to achieve cosmetic goals. In contrast, septoplasty concentrates on straightening or repositioning the internal septum to enhance nasal airflow.


Rhinoplasty results in a changed appearance of the nose, whereas septoplasty aims to improve breathing without altering the external appearance significantly.

What is a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a "nose job," is a surgical procedure that addresses the 3-D structure of the nose. A rhinoplasty surgery can be functional to improve breathing or cosmetic to change the shape and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the nose. Individuals opt for rhinoplasty to address various concerns, including altering the size, shape, symmetry, or angle of the nose. A rhinoplasty surgery involves reshaping nasal bones, cartilage, and tissues to achieve a desired cosmetic outcome or improve nasal valve collapse. At Dr. Ghazizadeh MD, a Newport Beach, CA rhinoplasty expert Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh is specialized in both functional and cosmetic nasal procedures. 

A rhinoplasty surgery can include refining the nasal tip, reshaping nostrils, increasing the nasal airway passage as well as addressing issues like a deviated septum or enlarged inferior turbinates for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

How is a septoplasty different than a rhinoplasty?

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure specifically designed to correct a deviated septum. The septum is the thin wall of cartilage and bone that separates the nostrils. When it's crooked or deviated, it can obstruct airflow and cause breathing difficulties. Septoplasty aims to straighten or reposition the septum to improve nasal airflow and alleviate issues like chronic congestion, snoring, or sinus problems. Unlike rhinoplasty, septoplasty primarily focuses on the internal structure of the nose without altering its external appearance. However, a septoplasty is often  performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty to address both functional and cosmetic concerns.

Choosing the Right Procedure:

Deciding between rhinoplasty and septoplasty depends on individual concerns. For those primarily concerned with cosmetic changes to the nose, rhinoplasty is the suitable choice. Conversely, individuals facing breathing difficulties or chronic congestion due to a deviated septum should consider septoplasty. In some cases, a combination of both procedures might be recommended to address functional and aesthetic concerns comprehensively.


Understanding the distinctions between rhinoplasty and septoplasty is crucial for individuals contemplating nose surgery. Consulting with qualified surgeons or otolaryngologists is essential to evaluate specific needs, whether they involve cosmetic enhancements, functional improvements, or both. Making an informed decision based on personal goals and expert guidance ensures a successful and satisfactory outcome for nasal health and appearance.

Book your Rhinoplasty or Septoplasty appointment with Newpo rt Beach's top nose surgery specialist Dr. Ghazizadeh today!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.