3 Months Post-Op Rhinoplasty and Breathing is Worse Than Before, What Should I Do?

I had a rhinoplasty done on June 14 and it is now September. I had my nose narrowed and had my deviated septum corrected. But My breathing is worse than before. When I sit down it is like my nose because slightly stuffed up. Then when I lay down my nose completely closes up on either one side or the other or both close up. But I noticed that sometimes if I find just the right position it will open up. I know I should see my surgeon but I just started college and I am far away now from his office

Doctor Answers 7

Healing after rhinoplasty

Healing can take quite a while after rhinoplasty surgery. As you mentioned, it would be best to visit your surgeon to determine exactly what is going on. I would also suggest that if you have recently moved into a new environment, you may be experiencing difficulty breathing because of allergies which are unrelated to your surgery.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breathing Problems 3 Months Post Rhinoplasty

Breathing obstruction is a possible complication after a reduction rhinoplasty. Hopefully your air flow will improve as healing progresses. None of us can help you without an examination, so you should see a rhinoplasty surgeon in Baton Rouge - ask your surgeon for a referral. 

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

Problems breathing after rhinoplasty

The fact that at times your breathing is okay suggests that there is a congestive component.  See a plastic surgeon and consider starting a topical steroid spray like Flonase.  Surgical relief can often be gotten through turbinate resection.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Trouble breathing after rhinoplasty

This is a very common symptom after rhinoplasty. It often takes 6 months for post rhinoplasty breathing issues to be sorted out. in most cases it will just get better with time. 

There is a condition called synechiae, which is an abnormal connection of your lateral nasal wall to your septum that can occur after septal work. This is usually easily detected on exam and can be usually corrected in the office. This should be evaluated as soon as possible as this would give you immediate relief. 

The second possibility is that the narrowing of your nose can decrease your breathing and you may have to have some secondary surgery to try to correct it depending on any abnormal anatomy that is found. I would wait a full year to make this commitment however. 

Finally there is a condition that is called post Rhinoplasty rhinitis that is now well understood but can respond to medication when all other conditions are ruled out. 

Please see your doctor to sort this out and good luck. 

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Airway issues

I always tell patients that there are many reasons for airway difficulties and not all are treated successfully by surgery.  You still may be healing and have some swelling internally, it can also be allergic in nature.  You need to be evaluated by your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

It will likely take time

For many patients, heaing occurs slower than they would like after rhinoplasty.  It is possible you still have swelling both on the inside and the outside of the nose that should continue to improve.  In fact, your nose will likely continue to change for months if not years, albeit slowly.  Watch your salt intake and try to sleep with your head elevated for the time being and follow up with your surgeon when you can.  Best of luck.

Colin Pero, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


This is a difficult question. It is possible that narrowing the nose either at the tip or the middle vault could reduce breathing. However, i woud also look into possible allergies and try sime decongestants or steroid nasal inhalers.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 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.