Facial plast Surg 2010; 26(4): 328-332
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1262316
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Does Rhinoplasty Improve Nasal Breathing?

Rui Xavier1
  • 1Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Hospital da Arrábida, Porto, Portugal
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Publication History

Publication Date:
27 July 2010 (online)


Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims to improve nasal aesthetics and nasal breathing. The aesthetic improvement of the nose is usually judged subjectively by the patient and the surgeon, but the degree of improvement of nasal obstruction is difficult to assess by clinical examination only. The measurement of peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) is a reliable tool that has been shown to correlate with other objective methods of assessing nasal breathing and with patients' symptoms of nasal obstruction. Twenty-three consecutive patients undergoing rhinoplasty have been evaluated by measurement of PNIF before and after surgery. All but three patients had an increase in PNIF after surgery. The mean preoperative PNIF was 86.5 L/min and the mean postoperative PNIF was 123.0 L/min (p < 0.001). Not surprisingly, the greatest improvement in PNIF was achieved when bilateral spreader grafts were used. This study suggests that rhinoplasty does improve nasal breathing.