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I'm 5 days post op, how long will I be unable to breathe through my nose after Rhinoplasty?

Hi, I'm 5 days post-op rhinoplasty and I'm having such a hard time breathing through my nose. I know there is a lot of swelling inside but I'm just wondering is this normal? I thought that by this time I was going to be able to breathe through my nose. Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers (2)

Breathing after rhinoplasty

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There is both external and internal swelling following rhinoplasty. Additionally, sometimes during surgery, internal nasal splints or packing is placed and once this is removed, nasal airflow improves significantly.

Resolution of internal swelling and hypersensitivity will depend largely on what was done during rhinoplasty surgery both externally and internally - concomitant septal or turbinate  or sinus surgery. If there was significant nasal airway obstruction prior to surgery and this was addressed, most patients notice a significant improvement immediately after surgery. In other cases, patients may have a lot of internal swelling and hypersensitivity, this typically improves a few weeks after surgery but can take up to 3 or 4 months to improve significantly. During this recovery period, saline nasal spray, or steroid nasal spray may be necessary to obtain temporary relief from symptoms until full recovery has occurred. You should discuss your concerns with your surgeon during your follow-up visits.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

I'm 5 days post op, how long will I be unable to breathe through my nose after Rhinoplasty?

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Have patience!  You are only 5 days post op, so swelling is expected for both the internal and external nose.  It takes weeks to months for all the swelling to settle, but you should be breathing a lot better within days.  Follow up with your Plastic Surgeon for an exam as he recommends, so that he can monitor your healing.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.