One Nostril is Always Blocked After Rhinoplasty. Do I Need Another Surgery?

So it's been exactly six weeks since I did my rhinoplasty.The results have been great and I am totally satisfied. However I have been having this breathing issue: one nostril is always blocked. so I breathe with the other nostril, and as soon as it opens up, the other nostril automatically-magically blocks. So I'm always breathing through one nostril only, never both. And my doctor is out of the country now so I can't visit him. Does this have an explanation? Do I need another surgery? Thank you

Doctor Answers 7

Breathing problems may persist six weeks after rhinoplasty.

It is possible there could have been damage to one of the nasal valves. It six weeks however it would be too early to establish that diagnosis.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Post rhinoplasty

Sounds like your problem is swelling and not mechanical if it switches from side to side.  If so this should improve over time.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Nostril blocked after rhinoplasty

Dear MrM101,

  1. This is part of the nasal cycle where one side of the nose is more stuffy than the other and it alternates
  2. It is also very early and the swelling still needs to come down
  3. Just be a little patient and things should improve

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Airway obstruction 6 weeks after rhinoplasty

It is fairly common to have  nasal swelling after surgery.  It may take several months for this to get better.

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

Nasal airway obstruction on one side after a rhinoplasty

Six weeks is still early in the scale of post operative recovery.  Swelling is not always symmetric and I would not be too concerned at this point that you are having this airway problem.  It should improve over the next 6 weeks.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Another Surgery

The nose actually goes through a nasal cycle. One side alternatingly swells as the other side decongests. You may be more symptomatic of this becuase there could be additional residual swelling still present from surgery. Alternatively, if you are prone to allergies, this could be another factor. If you had aesthetic narrowing of the nasal tip, this may also factor in on how well the nostrils allow air to pass into the nose.

Regarding another surgery, its probably too early to commit to this. Continue working with your physician. Rhinoplasty takes months to heal, even though most of the healing is done in the first 3 months.

C.W. David Chang, MD
Columbia Facial Plastic Surgeon

Breathing after a rhinoplasty

Each patient experience different healing times. It should become easier and easier. If you are concerned see your surgeon as soon as he is available to discuss. You should be fine and we are glad you got a great result.

George T. Boris, MD, FRCS (account suspended)
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 18 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.