Breathing 1 Month Post-Op?

Hi. I'm about 1 month post-op from a septa/rhinoplasty. I still find it a bit hard to breathe. It's a bit congested and stuffy. I'm assuming it's because of the junk still in my nose, but I have been using saline rinses to help. I find that I breathe better afterwards, but then it gets stuffy again in the morning. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 4

Stuffy nose 1 month after nosejob

The most common complaint after rhinoplasty is typically NOT pain, but nasal congestion and stuffiness.  It is most notable and persistent for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery and gradually subsides.  The tissue inside the nose shrinks and swells normally during the day and is affected by weather, barometric pressure, allergens, emotions, gravity, etc.  Most rhinoplasties are done with incisions inside the nose and the reactive tissues swell. 


Often a rhinoplasty involves making a large nose smaller, which decreases the internal diameter, making the breathing passageways smaller.  This can make breathing more difficult.


Weeks after surgery, stuffiness gradually subsides but is generally worse in the morning or after physival exertion.  There could be scabbing or crusting in the nose.


You should see your surgeon every few weeks until this goes away, as he/she may be able to spray a decongestant in the nose and remove some dried blood or scabs along the scars...and , yes, saline sprays do work.  Avoid Afrin nasal spray.  Good luck!



New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breathing 1 Month Post-Op Septoplasty / Rhinoplasty

Yes.  The mucosa (lining inside your nose) is still getting use the changes that have taken place since your surgery.  It’s adjusting, if you will.  This sounds like this is the case with you particularly since you state that the breathing is normal after you use the saline sprays and it is worse in the morning.  If it is very bothersome, you can try using some over the counter systemic decongestants some of which will last all day.

Anthony Bared, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Breathing After Rhinoplasty

Because you're still very early on in the healing process following your rhinoplasty, it's normal to experience stuffiness. If rinsing has been helping you, it's important to continue to do so daily, as this will provide relief for your breathing problems. If you are concerned, follow up with your plastic surgeon to better understand what you can do to make sure you're healing correctly.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews




What you are explaining is completely normal you need to see your doctor to see what you can use to help with the swelling. In our office we tell our patients to get Sudafed to help shrinking the membranes in your nose. Talk to your PS to see what they recommend.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.