Can a Rhinoplasty Help With Snoring?

The short answer is: maybe.  Snoring is a common problem for men and women alike. A rhinoplasty, or nose job, may be able to help. Snoring typically implies mouth breathing, which may be secondary to nasal airway obstruction that can be corrected with surgery. Rhinoplasty can help to reduce or eliminate snoring if it improves nasal breathing. Not every rhinoplasty or rhinoplasty technique, however, improves nasal breathing. In fact, many traditional rhinoplasties from the past are non-structural without cartilage grafting and decrease nasal breathing instead of improving it. Here’s what to know about a rhinoplasty, snoring, and how a board-certified plastic surgeon can help.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring can result from several factors, the most common being obstruction of the nasal airway leading to mouth breathing. When you sleep, your muscles relax, which can cause the tissues in your throat to collapse and partially block the airway. It also narrows the airway and makes it more difficult to breathe (a problem called obstructive sleep apnea). Other factors that can contribute to snoring include: excess weight, smoking, drinking alcohol and sleeping on your back. However, some people are just genetically predisposed to snoring.

What is a Rhinoplasty and What Can You Use It For?

A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that changes the shape of your nose. If done well, it also improves your nasal breathing even if no nasal obstruction existed. A rhinoplasty can be performed using two different techniques differentiated by incision placement: open (external) or closed (endonasal). Open surgery is performed through a tiny incision at the bottom of the nose between the nostrils (columella) that heals extremely well and is inconspicuous once healed. Closed surgery is where the surgeon makes small incisions inside the nose without the incision between the nostrils thereby limiting exposure. Each type comes with different pros and cons.

How Can a Rhinoplasty Help with Snoring Specifically?

Rhinoplasty can be a very effective way to treat snoring issues. Rhinoplasty can help with snoring because it corrects structural issues leading to nasal obstruction and thereby indirectly to snoring from chronic mouth breathing at night. However, snoring may persists after rhinoplasty or any other nasal surgery as breathing at night is subconscious and cannot be influenced directly. If you are considering rhinoplasty to treat your snoring, be sure to talk to your plastic surgeon about your specific needs and goals. They can help you determine if rhinoplasty is the right option for you. It should never be done for snoring alone unless you desire cosmetic changes as well.

How Much Does a Rhinoplasty Cost on Average?

The cost of rhinoplasty varies greatly depending on the extent of surgery, surgeon expertise, geographic location, duration of surgery, and patient factors (primary vs. revision). Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of rhinoplasty unless it is solely for medical reasons. However, the medically necessary portions performed during a rhinoplasty such as straightening a deviated septum may be covered by your health insurance.

What Is The Recovery Like After Surgery?

Downtime after rhinoplasty is 1 week. Most people feel back to normal within that timeframe after the cast is removed on day 5-7 post-OP.  However, it typically takes 4-6 weeks for all swelling to disappear during which timeframe no exercise should be performed. Once the swelling subsided, the skin has to contract to conform to the new shape, a process that takes months. Most patients are ready for a photo studio session 1 to 3 months after surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

Snoring can be a significant problem for many people. If you’re one of them, it may be time to consider a rhinoplasty especially if you’d like to alter your nasal appearance simultaneously. To meet with Dr. Thomas Walker and learn more about your rhinoplasty options, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.