Cannot Breath Well After Rhinoplasty?

Two weeks after the surgery I still breath very little from one nostril, and almost not at all from the other one. Will this condition improve over the next weeks or not? Note that the middle cartilage was cut and restraithened during the surgery along with bone filing and tip trimming of the nose

Doctor Answers 7

Breathing after Rhinoplasty

It is very common to have difficulty with nasal airflow following rhinoplasty.  This will generally improve over time.  Nasal saline (ie. Ocean Spray), used often, will speed the recovery.  Nasal saline is very effective, inexpensive, and non-addicting.  If problems persist, you should see your surgeon.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Difficulty Breathing 2 Weeks After Rhinoplasty

Dear Josey,


It is common that patients develop a difficulty of breathing after their rhinoplasty for up to 4 weeks.

In your case, nasal saline spray is very helpful to relieve your symptoms and it will help clear out your nasal airways.

If the problem persists and it is not getting any better, I urge you to consult with your surgeon to further investigate the cause of what you are experiencing.


Thank you for your question and the best of wishes to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Breathing Problems 2 Weeks After a Rhinoplasty

It is very common to have difficulty breathing through your nose 2 weeks after a rhinoplasty. If the purpose of the rhinoplasty was to make your nose smaller (as is typical), then your airway was made smaller as well. Most of the time, certain things are done to the inside of your nose at the time of the rhinoplasty to account for this, so that you will not have trouble breathing once you are healed. The normal postoperative swelling does cause the early breathing difficulties that should get better over time. Your surgeon knows what was done during the surgery that still may be causing some obstruction. Talk with him or her for reassurance and be patient.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nasal Congestion 2 weeks post Rhinoplasty


As long as your surgeon does rules out a septal hematoma, nasal congestion at this point is totally normal. Ask your surgeon for if you can use a nasal spray to relieve your symptoms temporarily.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 274 reviews

Cannot breathe well after rhinoplasty

It is common to have temporary airway disturbances after rhinoplasty surgery.  This is related to swelling of the lining inside your nose as well as changes in the internal anatomy particularly if the nasal bones were broken to narrow the boney part of your nose.  You should give things several months to stabilize as the rate of healing can vary from patient to patient.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breathing after Rhinoplasty

It’s very difficult to tell without knowing exactly what type of rhinoplasty was performed, and how extensive; however, after any nasal surgery your nose will be filled with debris and your surgeon will clear this away after each postoperative visit.  This debris can recur from one to four weeks, and possibly longer, depending on how much work was done, but with the healing process, should gradually dissipate.

Jonathan Ross Berman, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Always a Reason

Well, you will probably have a better nasal airway over time.  However, see your surgeon and look for "reasons" causing your nasal obstruction.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.