5 weeks post-op Rhinoplasty, why can't I breathe? Has my cartilage collapsed? (photos)

I had an open rhinoplasty more than 5 weeks ago and I still can’t breathe, especially through my right nostril. I have to breathe through my mouth most of the time. I can breathe a little better when I lay down. I also have stitch abscesses, so the entrance of my nostrils are swollen and pus is still coming out (PS said it'll get better). I am afraid my cartilage has collapsed, especially on the right side, what do you think?

Doctor Answers (2)

Post op nasal obstruction

It's normal to be stuffy after nasal surgery. Most often it's due to swelling and because there is significant crusting that is stuck in your nose. Your surgeon can suction and clean your nose which should help you significantly. 

Im not clear on whether you had anything functional done to you nose but it's important when you have the outside of your nose made smaller that the inside is also fixed. Otherwise breathing can be worse after surgery. I would have your surgeon evaluate your nose and make sure everything that can be addressed is being addressed ( ie swelling, allergies, crusting) 

Good luck! 

Princeton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery times are among the longest for Plastic Surgery procedures

It may take several weeks for all of the swelling to resolve. With this type of procedure, it is possible that the airway has been altered. If the problem persists three months post-procedure, consult with your surgeon.

James Green, MD
Santa Fe Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.