How Often Does a Revision Resolve Breathing Problems After Rhinoplasty?

Are there other ways to resolve this problem without undergoing nose surgery again?

Doctor Answers 6

Revision rhinoplasty for breathing generally successful.

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Typically, breathing problems occur after rhinoplasty because too much cartilage has been taken out in the lower half of the nose.  The so-called internal nasal valve, or inner nostril, becomes narrowed and, therefore,  is an impediment to airflow. 

There are several good techniques for improving this, including taking a small bit of cartilage and overlying skin and splicing or grafting it to the inside of the nose.  Your rhinoplasty surgeon will explain all the options to you. 

Typically, the operation is successful, but it is important that the plastic surgeon improving this internal structure also meets your desires for whatever change you do or do not want externally.  In other words, the internal changes should not create another problem in terms of an unsatisfactory external appearance.

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breathing Problems From Rhinoplasty

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When performed properly by a highly skilled surgeon who has a great deal of experience performing revision rhinoplasty surgery, a revision can help fix any breathing problems that are present. These could be problems that were made worse or occurred as a result of the previous surgery, such as a structural issue from an overaggressive approach (pinched nostrils).  The breathing problems could also be from an issue that was not addressed properly during the initial surgery. Sometimes, healing can be an issue, and a minor modification may be necessary.  In either situation, a highly knowledgeable revision rhinoplasty specialist would be able to help. Thank you, and I hope this helps answer your question.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Treating breathing problems from prior rhinoplasty

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In experienced hands revision surgery has a high rate of improving functional breathing problems from prior surgery. A full assessment of the nose should be done to determine what area(s) are causing the blockage.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty should have double benefit

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If your primary rhinoplasty fell short of the mark, a revision rhinoplasty should make you look & breathe better, and this improvement should occur reliably. Revisions are never perfect, but can yield impressive improvements. Revision rhinoplasties are often longer surgeries commonly with 2nd site surgery for cartilage graft harvest (but not always). Nonsurgical options (like Breathe Right Strips) can sometimes help, but few people want to wear something like this after undergoing a surgery that was intended to fix such problems. My best advice is to make sure you keep the lines of communication open with your surgeon in order to crystalize your expectations and clearly understand the possibilities afforded by revision rhinoplasty.

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breathing problems after surgery?

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Nasal breathing problems can often be divided into two categories, either individually or in combination. Membrane problems with swelling, congestion and excess secretions are often caused by allergy, infection or irritants and will respond to medical therapies and likely will always need medical therapy. No surgery will remove the allergic reactivity from the nose. Structural problems such as crooked bone or cartilage, poor support or scar tissue from injury regardless of normal presence or from previous survey require surgical correction. No pill, spray or local irrigation will correct them. 

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Revision to Resolve Breathing Problems Post Rhinoplasty

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Unless there is a functional problem such as allergies, revision surgery will probably be necessary to improve your breathing if the airway has been compromised during the rhinoplasty procedure. Consult with your physician or see an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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.