Is It Common to Have Breathing Problems After Rhinoplasty? (photo)

I plan on getting Rhinoplasty soon and i want to change my bridge, tip and nostrils. My question is what is the likelihood of having breathing problems after nostril reduction. I really don't like how wide my nose is but my health is a priority.

Doctor Answers 14

Breathing after surgery

While you may have some difficulty in the early stage of your recovery following surgery, due to swelling, as the swelling subsides you should be able to breathe normally again.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Breathing problems after rhinoplasty

It is uncommon to have a breathing problem created from cosmetic surgery.  In the far majority of our cases, no changes in breathing have occurred after rhinoplasty or septoplasty. 

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

Possible Breathing Issues After Rhinoplasty

Dear Lovlife,


Breathing issues can result from Rhinoplasty if the procedure the nostrils or other parts of the nose collapse when you breath in. For this to happen, very poor approach should take place and with extensively experienced surgeon it is very minimal (almost non existing).


Now, after the rhinoplasty it is normal that a patient feel congested (something close to the flu like symptoms).


I encourage you to seek a consultation with the board certified surgeon of ample experience in the field of rhinoplasty who will guide you to make a well informed decision.


Best of luck to you and thank you for your inquiry.

Dr. Sajjadian

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

Breathing problems following rhinoplasty

Breathing problems can result from a rhinoplasty if the following issues arise:

1) The procedure is performed improperly and the nose eventually collapses
2) The procedure is overdone and the nostrils become pinched

The width of the nose can be improved without compromising one's breathing.  This requires a conservative approach with adequate structural support provided during the rhinoplasty to minimize the chances of complications occurring in the future.  I would recommend a consultation with a board certified rhinoplasty surgeon. Thanks and good luck!

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Rhinoplasty and breathing problems

    Every experienced rhinoplastic surgeon strives to make sure that the nasal breathing after rhinoplasty improves, not worsens. Typically the nasal breathing issues are related to the internal structures (valves, septum, turbines, etc.) as opposed to the nostril size. In your particular case an experienced surgeon should be able to narrow your nostrils significantly without compromising your breathing.  Of course, a careful pre-operative assessment of your internal nasal structures is paramount to properly plan and execute your nasal surgery.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Nostril reduction

Nostril reduction is unlikely to result in problems breathing after rhinoplasty.  Post surgical breathing problems are usually a result of obstruction inside the nasal passages and can be avoided by proper evaluation of the airway before surgery.  This will determine if any additional internal work such as a septoplasty or turbinectomies would be of some benefit during surgery.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breathing Problems After Rhinoplasty

Breathing obstruction is a possible complication especially more common when the size of the nasal dorsum and/or nasal tip are being reduced. An experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon will create a surgical plan to allow for an adequate airway. Your surgeon can explain this during the preop consultation.  

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breathing after Rhinoplasty

Breathing obstruction is a possible complication after a rhinoplasty, especially when the size of your nose is reduced. An experienced surgeon will take steps during your surgery to maintain an adequate airway. Discuss this with your surgeon before the operation.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Rhinoplasty can make your breathing better.


With a good rhinoplasty, certainly your breathing should not get any worse.  By working with the septum and the turbinates, your breathing can be made better!

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Is It Common to Have Breathing Problems After Rhinoplasty?

Simply answer is not very common but can occur. Best to discuss with your chosen surgeon because we can not do an intranasal examination on you over the internet to see if you have airway issues. Talk to your surgeon to fully understand the risk/benefits. Good Luck

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.