Chronic Congestion 3 Months Post-Rhino- Is This Normal?

I had rhinoplasty about 3 months ago and I'm still very congested. I am wheezing when I breathe and when I speak I get out of breath quickly. I also sound very nasal when I speak and friends have commented that they don't recognize my voice on the phone. Is this normal? I've tried decongestants but they don't really help. Before rhinoplasty I didn't have any breathing or nasal problems. Now I feel that the surgery has caused problems. Help!

Doctor Answers 5

Rhinoplasty CAN Affect Breathing

If you are having significant nasal obstruction three months after rhinoplasty, you should get repeat evaluation by your original surgeon.  You might also want to consider a second opinion from someone with ENT (otolaryngology) training who can give you an unbiased opinion on what is causing your symptoms.  Nasal endoscopy should be performed as part of this evaluation.

As part of our airway and two of our five major senses (taste and smell), the nose can play a significant role in quality of life.  Cosmetic surgery should be conducted in a way to preserve normal function while maximizing patient satisfaction with the aesthetic results.  Most rhinoplasty surgeons understand this, so it is my hope that your original surgeon will be able to help you. 

I hope this helps!

Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Chronic congestion and wheezing 3 months after Rhinoplasty, is this normal?

No, none of these symptoms are typical or normal after a Rhinoplasty.  Wheezing and shortness of breath are worrisome signs of a possible lung issue and you should be seen ASAP for a complete evaluation.  Start by calling your Rhinoplasty surgeon for a nasal examination and referral to an internist for a chest XRAY and physical exam.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Best Treatment for Chronic Nasal Congestion 3 Months After Rhinoplasty...Somnoplasty

Hi Stuffy,

Best to be evaluated by your surgeon or an ENT physician.  Most likely your nasal cavity has been made smaller by your rhinoplasty.  There can be collapse of the valves of your nose that results difficulty breathing.  Your nasal septum may be deviated.  Before having any revision surgery, sometimes having Somnoplasty of the inferior nasal turbinates (in office radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction) can open the airway just enough to restore your breathing.  Somnoplasty has been a very successful treatment in my practice.  Good luck and be well. 

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Congestion post rhinoplasty

I would recommend you go back and see your surgeon. sometimes residual swelling does occur which is normal and sometimes other issues develop. your surgeon is the best one to identify what is the issue.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Congestion and wheezing after rhinoplasty

Nasal congestion is common for a month or two after rhinoplasty, though after three months, or with a decongestant your nose should open up. Have your doctor check to see if the airway has been narrowed. The wheezing and shortness of breath are respiratory problems which are unrelated to rhinoplasty. Hope you are not smoking.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.