Structural issues or anomalies of the nose can often make it difficult for an individual to breathe or feel healthy. These problems can come from many sources, including a birth defect, a deformity that develops, an injury, or trauma. In cases like these, functional nose surgery can be done to correct the condition and give the patient much-needed relief. 

As a surgeon who has been double board-certified in the most selective field by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Yael Halaas is the number one female facial plastic surgeon on the East Coast, and she has dedicated the past 17 years to offering her patients the best in surgical care in facial surgery in the Westchester and NYC area.

What can functional nose surgery accomplish?

  • Improve breathing problems 
  • Correct severe snoring
  • Relieve excessive congestion
  • Restore a reduced sense of smell
  • Decrease nosebleeds
  • Help with sinus infections and sinus pressure headaches 
  • Improve dry mouth

My overall experience with this practice was fantastic. The doctor was amazing, as well as the staff. From the initial consultation through the follow-up visit, everything was perfect.

Susan Cohen


The septum is the thin strip of cartilage that separates the nostrils. When the septum is deviated, the separating partition needs to be returned to center line. This may involve trimming, re-positioning, or replacing the bone and cartilage.

A deviated septum can be caused by trauma to the nose, or it may have existed since birth. Whatever the cause may be, the condition can be problematic, as the narrowing of the nasal cavity can result in a decrease in airflow, headaches, nasal drip, discomfort, constant sinus infections, congestion, and other breathing issues.

Depending on the cause and extent of surgical repair needed, a functional rhinoplasty can be performed externally, or internally through the nostrils.

Repair for nasal valve collapse 

Nasal valve collapse can happen as the result of age, trauma, weakened nasal cartilage, scar tissue, inflammation, and/or post nasal surgery issues. This condition can cause loud snoring, dry and crusty nostrils, severe congestion, bleeding, and trouble with breathing. Treatment for nasal valve collapse may require the use of spreader grafts to provide the support needed to help the valves stay open to allow for proper breathing. 

Turbinoplasty and turbinectomy

Turbinates are the structures responsible for purifying the air that enters our nose. They can be found on the inside of the nose, and can sometimes become enlarged. When this happens, they can cause breathing issues. A turbinectomy is a surgical procedure in which part of the turbinates are removed to correct this problem, whereas a turbinoplasty simply makes changes to the turbinates without removing any part of them.

Sinus surgery

Sinus surgery is done to create more space between the sinuses in order to let more air to get in, and the drainage to get out. Sinus surgery can improve sinus problems such as chronic inflammation of the nose and sinuses. 

Nasal polyp removal

Nasal polyps (which are caused by factors such as allergies, sinus infections, asthma, nasal obstruction, and cystic fibrosis) can often be found on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. Although they are benign, they can result in breathing problems, chronic sinus infections, and other frustrating conditions. Dr. Halaas’s functional nose surgery can remove nasal polyps and improve these symptoms.


Is functional nose surgery covered by insurance?

Sometimes health insurance will pay for some (or all) of a functional nose surgery if the patient’s breathing is being compromised. The best thing to do is to contact your health coverage provider and ask them. If the answer is yes, the next step is to find out what needs to be provided in order to have the surgery covered.

What should I expect during my consultation?

During your consultation with Dr. Halaas, she will perform a physical assessment of your nose, and she will also ask questions about your medical history (including information regarding previous nose surgeries). You will discuss your areas of concern, and using all of this data, Dr. Halaas will create a treatment plan just for you.

Written by Dr. Halaas

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