Cannot breathe properly 7 months post rhinoplasty

I had a septoplasty and rhinoplasty 7 months ago. I now cannot breathe properly through either nostril. Occasionally the left one will open up for the most part they are both quite blocked (can hardly get any air through the right nostril) It has been like this ever since surgery so I am gathering it is not a cold and I am assuming I shouldn't be having breathing problems this long after? Does it sound like I will need to have surgery again? Thanks

Doctor Answers 5

Seek evaluation

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If you are still having trouble breathing 7 months after surgery, it is not a cold.

There can be a number of contributing factors. I recommend an evaluation by a surgeon who specializes both in functional and cosmetic issues. In some cases the rhinoplasty specialist will seek the help of an ENT colleague who specializes in "inside the nose" issues. However in your situation there may be some issues directly related to the surgery that they might not appreciate fully. A cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeon who is "double board certified" in Facial Plastic Surgery and also ENT who actively treats cosmetic and functional issues will be able to evaluate and treat the inside and outside of your nose. I am one such surgeon, and of course there are a substantial number of surgeons like me. Good luck!

Voorhees Facial Plastic Surgeon

Can't breath 7 months postop

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Hello.  Thought I advise patients that the final results of a rhinoplasty won't be seen until at least a year, that is for external appearances.  Functional outcomes--ie breathing better--should be seen by 6 weeks.  If you're already 7 months out and still having trouble breathing, I'm afraid you did not get the functional outcome we wanted.  The best thing is to see your surgeon for good in office exam and discussion of revision surgery timing (if it's indicated).  Good luck.

Kenneth Yu, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


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Hello with 7 months post op, you should be seeing the final results of your surgery. but in this case you should definitely have  a consult with your surgeon because not being able to breath at this point is not normal. your surgeon needs to evaluate you and correct it .Thank you 

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By 7 months any inflammation from surgery should have resolved.  Your obstruction needs to be evaluated to determine why it is occurring.  It could be a residual septal deviation, turbinate hypertrophy, or internal or external valve incompetence.  Seek an evaluation by your surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon to determine this and plan a correction. 

Postoperative breathing after rhinoplasty

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If your surgeon has background in Otolaryngology (most Facial Plastic Surgeons are) see if your surgeon can determine with nasal examination how your nasal anatomy looks.  This consists of your septum, turbinates and status of your nasal valves.  If there is compromise in any, your breathing can be affected.  Be aware that allergies and intranasal swelling can contribute and consider medical therapy prior to surgical intervention if necessary.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 171 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.