Breathing Problem Due to Internal Swelling or Scarring?

It's been three weeks since my primary open rhinoplasty, and I am still unable to breathe through the left side of my nose, which feels very congested. I can however breathe fine through my right side. The nurse told me that this was due to internal swelling on the left side. I'd like to know how long it will take for the internal swelling to go down? I am concerned that this may not be due to internal swelling, but rather scar formation under the nose.

Doctor Answers 5

Breathing problems after open rhinoplasty

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Could be either swelling or scar tissue formation. Your plastic surgeon will have to do a thorough internal evaluation to see if internal valve collapse, swelling, inflammation, deviated septum or scarring is causing the breathing problems. Good luck!

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breathing problem after rhinoplasty

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WIthout knowing what exactly was done, it is hard to say why you have specific obstruction on the one side.  However, it is common for breathing to be a bit difficult due to swelling. Give it so me more time, but if concerned get evaluated by your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breathing Problem Post Rhinoplasty

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The breathing problem you describe may be secondary to swelling, scarring, or an anatomic narrowing of your nostrils 3 weeks after the operation. Your surgeon can examine you and answer your question.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breathing Problem After Rhinoplasty

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There are several possible reasons for the symptoms you describe, many being temporary.  It will be best evaluated by your surgeon at your next visit, which hopefully is coming up soon.

It is still early in the healing process, so don't get too discouraged yet.

James Bartels, MD
Manchester Facial Plastic Surgeon

Left sided congestion after rhinoplasty

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Without seeing inside your nose we can't really say why you're having congestion on your left side only. You may have residual swelling inside the nose at this early stage, but other issues can't be ruled out without an examination. I'm sure your surgeon would be happy to see you to check things out.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 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.