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What is functional rhinoplasty?

Functional rhinoplasty is a surgery to modify either the internal or external nose structure to enhance the ability to breathe freely and naturally, through both nostrils. Many people have trouble breathing through one nostril, or struggle with chronic snoring or sleep apnea, waking up during the night due to restricted breathing function. Finding the source of the problem is the first step to resolving it, and the treatment performed will vary from patient to patient.

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What sets OG Aesthetics in Menlo Park apart?

All plastic surgeons vary in education, skills, experience, and artistry. When under the care of our two facial plastic surgeons at OG Aesthetics, your functional rhinoplasty will be performed by a specialist in nasal structure. Both Dr. Gadaleta and Dr. Ortlip attended top-tier training programs and are experienced in the latest cutting-edge surgical procedures to resolve a wide array of functional concerns. They are tasteful, welcoming, and good-natured, and you will be treated like a VIP from the moment you step into our serene offices.

At OG Aesthetics, we are detail-obsessed and results-driven, balancing art, creativity, science, and innovation when performing functional rhinoplasty procedures. If you have concerns about your breathing function, you underwent a primary rhinoplasty that has affected breathing, or you suffer from chronic snoring or can only breathe freely through one nostril, we urge you to meet with our surgeons to discover a solution that will enhance your quality of life and peace of mind.

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What are the benefits?

A functional rhinoplasty can help you breathe better and improve your quality of life. Other benefits of a functional rhinoplasty include:

•    Improves the quality of your sleep by resolving nasal obstructions
•    Achieves long-term relief from sinus headaches and congestion
•    Improves your sense of smell
•    Addresses asymmetries and cosmetic issues at the same time
•    As the procedure is typically considered medically necessary, your medical insurance will often cover functional rhinoplasty

What are the functional rhinoplasty options?

As ear, nose, and throat specialists, our facial plastic surgeons are well-versed in the types of structural issues that affect breathing. The procedure performed will reflect your unique situation, and could be one of the following:


This procedure is performed to straighten the septum, the breathing passage in the nose. The problem may be visible outwardly as nasal asymmetry, or may be hidden within the inner nasal structure. Some are born with a deviated septum, and others may have developed it later in life due to impact or trauma.

Turbinate reduction

Turbinates are structures within the nasal cavity that clean and humidify the air we breathe. They involve bone, tissue, and mucous membranes. These structures could be damaged, requiring surgery to restore healthy breathing. The procedure involves reducing the size of the turbinates so they no longer inhibit air flow.


In many cases, breathing function problems are combined with an aesthetic issue, whether a broken nose, uneven nose, or other nasal balance or shape problem that needs to be addressed. In these cases, our facial plastic surgeons perform a customized functional plus cosmetic nose surgery, improving both form and function.

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What can functional rhinoplasty treat?

Several conditions can be resolved with a functional rhinoplasty, including:

  • Limited sense of smell
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic snoring
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Dry mouth 
  • Frequent headaches
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Are you a candidate for functional rhinoplasty?

If you struggle with any of the following symptoms, you may be a good candidate for this custom procedure, performed by our double board-certified facial plastic surgeons, who are specialists in ear, nose, and throat conditions:

  • Broken nose
  • Asymmetrical nose
  • Very narrow nose
  • Airways have collapsed
  • Nasal trauma from sports, accidents, or regular infections
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What is the recovery time after functional rhinoplasty?

The recovery time will reflect the extent of the procedure. Some of our patients undergo a combination procedure, addressing aesthetic and breathing issues in a single surgery, and can expect a recovery lasting about three to four weeks before returning to more vigorous physical activities.

Others may require treating only the inner structure, such as a septoplasty. This surgery may lead to swelling of the upper face, which will peak at about four to five days, and then fade. You should feel well enough to return to work within five days to a week.



How long will the surgery take?

How much time will I need to take off from work?

Will a functional rhinoplasty change the appearance of my nose?

What can I expect from my consultation?

How long will the surgery take?

Functional rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that is typically completed in two to four hours under general anesthetics or twilight sedation. The details of your surgery will depend completely upon your unique circumstances. Dr. Gadaleta and Dr. Ortlip are both familiar with all techniques, incisions, and closures and will combine these to optimize your surgery, allowing for the best possible results.

How much time will I need to take off from work?

After your surgery, it is important to rest and stay hydrated. We will advise you and give you instructions to help you recover smoothly. You should expect to be off from work for about 10 to 14 days. The recovery process for the nose takes time, and final results usually won’t be visible for the first few months. The full healing process can take up to a year.

Will a functional rhinoplasty change the appearance of my nose?

Functional rhinoplasty is usually performed for medical reasons and the primary goal is to address internal structural issues. However, this will sometimes involve making changes that affect the appearance of your nose, for instance, if your nasal passages need to be widened. For this reason, functional rhinoplasty is often combined with cosmetic rhinoplasty. If there are any cosmetic aspects of your nose you would like to correct, these can usually be addressed during the same procedure.

What can I expect from my consultation?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Gadaleta and Dr. Ortlip will go over your goals and concerns with you in order to devise the optimal surgical plan for you. The nose is a complex structure, and rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult surgeries to master, requiring excellent technical skills. It is an exact science, but it is also an art. Nowhere else in the body are structure, function, and aesthetics so intimately intertwined. It is important to us to really take the time to get to know you and make sure your rhinoplasty is meticulously planned to achieve your unique goals.

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Natural-looking results that honor your originality

At OG Aesthetics in Menlo Park, we want you to look and feel like yourself. We don’t want you to look like someone else. You are beautiful and unique, and it is important to us to honor your individuality. Our two double board-certified surgeons Dr. Gadaleta and Dr. Ortlip are passionate about combining science and creativity with personalized, warm, and friendly care for patients throughout the Palo Alto and San Jose areas and surrounding communities.

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