The term “deformity” may suggest something disfiguring, but actually, it’s used by medical professionals to describe “normal” anatomy issues. Worries about breathing capability or nose appearance affect many people, and as leading London rhinoplasty and facial surgeon Ms Badia explains, there are various causes, symptoms and treatments for nasal issues. Whether you’re seeking help for functional or aesthetic reasons, Ms Badia can help you reach your goal.
The term “deformity”
Sometimes, in people’s minds, the word deformity suggests something quite disfiguring. But in reality, a deformity may not mean something very disfiguring at all. The word can seem too strong for anyone who reads it while doing their research into nose conditions and they may think, “I’m not deformed”.
To clarify, when we (medical specialists) use the word deformity, it’s a way of saying something isn’t quite right, without it meaning disfiguring. Within the word deformity, there are “normal” anatomy issues.
The causes of nasal deformities
The cases of nasal deformities can be congenital i.e. genetic, or they can be acquired.
The most common causes are injuries e.g. sports injuries, accidents, being involved in fights – generally any type of trauma.
Congenital (genetic) causes
The most common reasons for people coming to see a nose specialist is that they say “I have the same nose as my father/mother and I don’t like it”. Patients sometimes don’t like the nose they’re given, which can be influenced by different ethnicities as the general style of noses can differ between them.
- Patients from East Asia tend to have a low nose bridge and some seek to raise it.
- Patients from the Indian continent tend to have thicker skin layer covering the nose and seek to reduce it.
- African noses can have more width to them, and some patients wish to reduce this width.
- Caucasian noses can have a bump, or the nose is too large for the face. This is particularly the case with nose jobs in females. In fact, in London, this is the most common request – to have a smaller and “more feminine” nose.
It can also apply that either with or without an acquired deformity (e.g. from trauma), the nose can be not centred in the face – some genetic asymmetries and deviations can cause it too.
Generally, when considering the look of a person’s nose, it can be difficult to know whether the issue is congenital or acquired because facial asymmetry is very common. Nevertheless, the treatment, for whatever the cause of nasal deformity, is very similar.
What are the types of nasal deformity?
In terms of types, I don’t look at nose deformities as disfiguring. Sometimes, we consider a type of deformity to be dependent on people’s goals: The type refers more to the look my patient wants to achieve and how they would like to improve the nose’s appearance. For example, if they want a smaller or more feminine nose, if they want a straighter nose or if their goal is to have a higher bridge.
In short, the type depends on what we want to achieve.
To name some common nasal deformities, there are:
- Tension nose – the nose is under tension and this is when there’s an overgrowth of the nasal septum and the nose is over-projected.
- Then there is the opposite – an under-projected nose.
- Sometimes, they have a little bump but the nose fits correctly within the face.
- A deviated nose can occur with or without trauma. This is when the nose directs more to one side rather than straight.
- Saddle nose deformity (when the nose dips and people would like an augmentation to raise the dip)
What are the symptoms of a nasal deformity?
In terms of symptoms for non-medical aesthetic issues, it’s quite often the case that people have nasal blockage, particularly when the nose is deviated. When the nose itself is twisted or deviated, almost 100% of the time the septum is deviated – this is the partition of cartilage between the two nostrils. So when the nose is deviated, almost inevitably, it involves a deviation of the nasal septum.
Do all nasal deformities require treatment?
Treatment for nasal deformities isn’t urgent as the situation is very rarely life-threatening, but rather it’s a matter of improving quality of life and being able to breathe better, or being more confident with your appearance. There are treatments to improve both function and form.
How are nasal deformities treated?
Surgery is generally the option for improving nose function and form, but there are also non-surgical treatments that can temporarily improve the nose’s appearance.
It’s important to have your facial features assessed so that you see a doctor that really specialises in all craniofacial and developmental abnormalities.
As a general rule, there are three main types of nose procedures which are used to meet specific goals. However, it’s important to remember there are exceptions when it comes to the following procedures.
- Septoplasty – this procedure alone can improve breathing, but it doesn’t change the nose’s appearance
- Septorhinoplasty – this procedure can improve breathing and improve the nose’s appearance
- Rhinoplasty – this procedure is aimed at changing the nose’s appearance but rarely improves breathing
Get in touch with Ms Badia to receive her leading professional advice – visit her profile to get started.