Can you breathe through your nose when you come out of anesthesia from rhinoplasty?

I suffer from panic attacks. I want to know if I will be able to breathe through my nose when I wake up from surgery. Unusually, this is one of my greatest fears in having rhinoplasty surgery.

Doctor Answers 4

Can you breathe through your nose when you come out of anesthesia from rhinoplasty?

Generally speaking, the nose is packed and therefore- impossible to breathe. But there're types of packing that can be used which allow breathing.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Breathing after a rhinoplasty

We do not place packing placed inside the nose after the rhinoplasty procedure, so most patients are able to breathe out of the nose to some degree (although congested) due to the surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Breathing Through Your Nose After Rhinoplasty

You will have to be specific with your surgeon on that question because some surgeons use packs and other don't. Personally, I never pack the nose after rhinoplasty, in large part, to help with patient comfort and breathing. I do not promise that it won't be stuffy, but generally that isn't a problem. Many patients who I combine rhinopalsty with turbinate and septum work tell me they breath better than they ever had even immediately after surgery. Of course these patients started off with poor nasal airways.

If your surgeon places dressings or packs in the nose, then you will not be able to breath through the nose. Even the packs with straws going through them don't usually work very well and patients, while technically breathing through their nose, are still not comfortable since they can't feel the air. In the end, you will need to ask your surgeon what he is going to do.

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Can you breathe through your nose when you come out of anesthesia from rhinoplasty?

I have had a few patients with panic attacks and fear of this and have done well in the recovery room. Some of this will be dependent upon what needs to be done, how it is done, the presence of splints, etc.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 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.