Nasal deformities: septoplasty vs. rhinoplasty

Written by: Mr Joe Marais
Published: | Updated: 12/04/2023
Edited by: Robert Smith

A nasal deformity is an abnormality in the appearance and structure of the nose that can result in difficulty breathing, impaired sense of smell and other issues.

girl with ginger hair rhinoplasty

We recently caught up with Mr Joe Marais, an extremely experienced consultant Rhinologist, Nasal Plastic & ENT surgeon based in London, to discuss nasal deformities and the treatment options. We also discussed how his clinic have adapted to the current COVID-19 situation.


What causes nasal deformities?

Nasal deformities are common in the general population and are the result of several possible causes. We all think first of all of injury when considering nasal deformity and indeed, many are caused by injury: including accidental, sporting or even assault. But there are other causes too: some people are born with a deformity which may get worse when the nose and facial bones grow and some deformities may even be the result of complications of previous surgery.

Whatever the cause of nasal deformity, it can cause two broad problems: nasal obstruction and external visible/ cosmetic nasal deformity. These do not always go together. Some people have nasal blockage and a normal-looking nose, whilst others may have a dreadful-looking nose but normal breathing - whilst others yet may have both nasal blockage and a horrible external deformity.

What is the best way of treating nasal deformities?

The treatment of nasal deformity requires a specialist with skills in dealing with both abnormalities of nasal function (such as blockage), but also in cosmetic nasal improvement – not just either/or. This is the task of a Rhinologist. With many years of treating such patients, I am pleased to say that I can deal with the whole range of such deformities and problems. And even now, during the height of the Covid pandemic, we are able to offer such surgeries in a safe, comfortable and Covid-free environment. Being tested twice-weekly, as Consultants, we are happy that we are not exposing any of our patients to any Covid-risks. The Hospital, too, runs a strict anti-Covid policy.

When would a septoplasty be needed and how does it compare with a rhinoplasty?

The specifics of exactly what operation is required to solve a particular problem obviously depends on the exact nature of the deformity. Broadly-speaking, internal problems, such as a deviated nasal septum (the central cartilage in the nose) may be corrected by means of a “Septoplasty”, whilst external nasal deformities (such as a crooked/bent nose) require a “Rhinoplasty”, although in reality these operations are used in varying combinations – usually referred to as a “Septorhinoplasty”. The rhinoplasty element of surgery is a bigger operation than a septoplasty alone, and is more likely to result in bruising. However, in both pain is not often severe, but recovery means avoiding all physical activity for a week post-operatively. Both operations (and combinations thereof) have a very high success rate and level of satisfaction.

If you would like surgery to treat a nasal deformity, we recommend booking an appointment with a highly regarded consultant Rhinologist, Nasal Plastic & ENT surgeon such as Mr Joe Marais. Click here to visit his Top Doctors profile today for information on appointment availability.

By Mr Joe Marais
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr Joe Marais is a renowned consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic and ENT surgeon based in London, who treats a wide range of conditions and holds a special interest in rhinoplasty, septoplasty, nasal deformity and sinus surgery.

Mr Marais trained as a junior doctor at London’s renowned Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital before relocating to Edinburgh to complete further training. In 1996, he was awarded intercollegiate fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and later gained invaluable experience under some of the world’s leading ENT surgeons in Texas, USA and later in Toronto, Canada in sub-specialist fellowships. He was appointed as a consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic and ENT surgeon in 2000 in London. Mr Marais is a highly experienced and respected expert in his field and he often receives tertiary referrals of challenging and complex cases from other colleagues.

Mr Marais has published a number of academic papers and has lectured nationally and internationally on his areas of expertise. Additionally, he teaches postgraduate medical trainees for the Royal College of Surgeons and is also involved in the training of junior ENT surgeons. He recently appeared on the BBC’s The One Show to give an expert demonstration of sinus surgery.

Mr Marais is a member of numerous esteemed professional bodies, including ENT_UK and the European Rhinological Society. He is also an allied associate member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Patient care is central to Mr Marais and he aims to provide the best outcomes possible for his patients.

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