I Had a Septo/rhinoplasty, Doctor Removed Splints and Cast Yesterday and Now I Can't Really Breathe Through my Nose?

Yesterday my surgeon removed the splints and cast, and shortly after I could breathe great but through the night the breathing got worse and worse, also swelling increased, I can feel the nose swelled up on my face. Is this normal? When will I get my breathing through the nose back?

Doctor Answers 8

Very Normal byVillar

The packing was applying pressure to the nasal lining to stem bleeding and stabilize the surgical site.  When it is pulled out, there is a sudden open passage.  But the tissues rapidly swell and block the passages.  Over the next few weeks you normally experience improvement but this will wane and wax with good and bad times until the wounds have matured and stabilized and scar tissue has contracted.  Best wishes. Knowledge is power.  Luis F. Villar MD FACS

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Nasal Congestion After Rhinoplasty

What you are experiencing is very normal for your stage of recovery.  Nasal congestion is expected immediately after septal and rhinoplasty surgery due to swelling that occurs inside and outside the nose.  Be patient, sometimes swelling can take up to a couple of months to resolve.  In the meantime, use saline nasal spray to keep your nose moist and help alleviate some of the congestion.  Good Luck

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Difficulty breathing after removal of splint following rhinoplasty

What you are experiencing is normal. The lining of the nose swells up as a result of the surgery similar to having a cold. Use Saline nose sprays to help speed recovery

All the best

Naveen Somia, MBBS, PhD, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Breathing after septo/rhinoplasty

Usually there is inflammation and swelling after rhinoplasty surgery that my give you the feeling of congestion. This usually gets better with time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breathing post rhinoplasty

It is common to be congested after a rhinoplasty, especially only a week after.  Elevation and saline spray can help during this period. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty

I usually tell my patients that this is expected after splint and cast removal.  It may take at least 3 months before you will appreciate the better breathing after a functional nasal surgery.  Be patient and allow things to heal.

Michael J. Lipan M.D. 

Facial Plastic Surgery of Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Michael Lipan, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Facial Plastic Surgeon

Congestion post rhinoplasty or septoplasty is common

Nathan: What you are experiencing is not unusual. The splints tend to hold the nasal passages open during the first post op days and once they are removed, the nose swells. In most patients, this resolves within a couple of weeks as the swelling subsides. Be sure to check in with your surgeon as well. Good luck. Dr S


Travis L. Shaw, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

I Had a Septo/rhinoplasty, Doctor Removed Splints and Cast Yesterday and Now I Can't Really Breathe Through my Nose?

Many thanks for the question.Its normal to have swelling appearing after removal of splint and this is always explained to all patients before surgery.

The nose must be blocked after surgery because of dried up blood and other secretions and normally saline spray is suggested during this period to help the block.You should try to clean inside of nose using Ear buds gentally.The nasal block can not appear over night soon after removal of splint.Also let your PS know about your concern.

Wish you all the best

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