Breathing Problems After Revision Rhinoplasty

I had a Revision rhinoplasty 15 years ago to correct a breathing problem (I had previous surgeries before this). It was all great; I could breathe properly again. However recently, I've begun having problems again. Is this due to aging? My nose seems a little crooked too. I don't think my nose was ever really straightened. Also, I have grafts in my nose; could have they been reabsorbed? I am thinking of doing something else to have it fixed but I'm a little apprehensive.

Doctor Answers 6

Difficulty nasal breathing years after nose surgery.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Its hard to say exactly what the problem is. You will clearly need to be examined. The possibilities are continued deviation of the septum, slow collapse of the supporting structures of the nose, or a non-structural issue. Late absorption of cartilage grafting is not common. Since you mention the nose is not straight, without more info, I would say its a structural issue.

Recurrent nasal congestion after revision rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are several possible causes of your newly developed congestion symptoms 15 years after rhinoplasty:

  • Development of rhinitis (nose inflammation) leading to swelling of the internal nasal lining. This can be from allergies or non-allergic causes such as chemicals, cigarette smoke, etc.
  • Scarring or weakening of the structure of your nose leading to physical blockage of airflow. This can take many years to develop after surgery.

It is quite rare to see cartilage re-absorption this far out from surgery. An examination by an experienced rhinoplasty surgery would help to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms, though.

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

Difficulty breathing after revision rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Today, there are many techniques that surgeons can use during a revision rhinoplasty. If you have had this surgery and are experiencing some tightness or difficulty breathing through your nose, it may be possible that the airway within your nose may have narrowed during the surgery. If this difficulty is a significant concern, you may be well served by obtaining a consultation from a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and revision techniques. They will assess the inside of your nose including your internal nasal valve to determine if widening this valve will help improve your breathing

Revision Rhinoplasty Can Improve Breathing & Appearance

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty should produce a nose that both looks good and functions well. Significant advances have been made in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty techniques over the past two decades. There has been an increased emphasis in the medical literature and rhinoplasty symposia on the importance of structurally resupporting the nose -- as opposed to simply reshaping the nose.

Revision rhinoplasty frequently involves resupporting the nasal framework with cartilage grafts. If the cartilage from inside the nose (septal cartilage) has not been previously removed, then it can be used to rebuild the nose. In revision rhinoplasty, sometimes it is necessary to use cartilage that is borrowed from either the ear (auricular cartialge) or from the rib (costal cartilage).

Seek the advice of a rhinoplasty surgeon who specializes in secondary (revision) rhinoplasty to see if you are a candidate.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Long Term Rhinoplasty Results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rhinoplasty results may continue to evolve over many years. I now see patients for facial rejuvenation surgery whose nasal surgery I did twenty to twenty-five years ago. Sometimes there have been subtle changes in their noses, but nothing like you describe. I strongly recommend you see an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.

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

Post Rhinoplasty nasal obstruction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are many reasons this could be happening. One very common reason is the development of allergies. Alternatively, there could be a loss of tip support or other long term scarring mechanisms that narrow critical aspects of the airway. The best thing to do is visit an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon and get an assessment. The grafts generally do not resorb. If it is related to allergies, the treatment would be non-surgical. So it is important to differentiate these issues.

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 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.