When Will Internal Swelling Subside After Rhinoplasty?

When will the internal swelling after Rhinoplasty go away, so I can start breathing through my nose again?

Doctor Answers 9

10% of Rhinoplasty patients have permanent decrease in nasal airflow after surgery

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It is very common to experience decreased breathing for the first 3-6 months after Rhinoplasty surgey. After the internal swelling has decreased breathing will improve.

The nasal mucosa tends to be dry following Rhinoplasty and especially during the heating season, the air is dry and the mucosa swells in an attempt to moisturize the nasal air and nasal stuffiness worsens. Using an Ultrasonic humidifier at the bedside at night will help.

However, about 10% of patients never regain their full pre Rhinoplasty air flow through the nose.

There are numerous causes:

1. The nose is smaller--less room for air to pass

2. Scarring inside can constrict the airway

3. If too much cartilage was removed from the lower nasal vault, the lower soft part of the nose can collapse during sniffing or breathing in--a condition called internal nasal valvular obstruction

4. Pre-existent nasal septal deformity (curved nasal septum) that was not corrected during Rhinoplasty the effect of which is worsened by reducing nasal height and width during Rhinoplasty.

If you are over 3 months post op and still experiencing breathing problems return to your doctor for an exam.

Swelling after rhinoplasty can take up to a couple of months

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Swelling that affects your breathing after rhinoplasty is normal and will depend on how much surgery you had. A simple tip rhinoplasty will have less swelling than an extensive septorhinoplasty. Your breathing should be back to "normal" anywhere from 2-3 weeks after surgery to 2-3 months after surgery. This will also depend on how your were breathing before surgery. Your surgeon should be able to give you the best estimate as he is familiar with the exact procedure that you had.

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

A Couple Of Months For Internal Swelling To Subside

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Swelling can make breathing difficult or impossible, but this usually resolves as  swelling subsides. This can take a couple of months, or longer if your procedure was extensive.

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Internal Swelling After Rhinoplasty

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If you have had functional surgery it may take 2-3 months for internal swelling to subside. The key is to use saline nasal spray post operatively to allow for swelling to subside faster.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Swelling variable after rhinoplasty

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Swelling is to be expected after a rhinoplasty, both inside and outside the nose. If you also underwent a septoplasty, you can expect your internal swelling to last even longer. The length of time that this will last depends upon how much work you had done. In general, you should be able to breathe through your nose normally within 2-3 months after a rhinoplasty. If you had a complex septoplasty, your swelling may last even longer. I would recommend speaking to your surgeon if you are still having trouble breathing through your nose three months after surgery. Good luck.

Nasal breathing after Rhinoplasty.

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Did you have a problem breathing through your nose before surgery? Is the blockage on one side or both? How long ago was your surgery?

In general, you should breathe easily through your nose between 2-3 weeks after rhinoplasty. if you're having a difficulty breathing through your nose, you should let your surgeon know.

I hope this helps.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Internal nasal swelling after rhinoplasty

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 Internal nasal swelling that is making it difficult for you to breath may take a while to subside after surgery. This can take several weeks to a few months depending upon what  type of surgery was performed internally.  If it persists more than a a few months, you should be re-evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

If you are having trouble breathing one month after rhinoplasty, it is not swelling.

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You don't give a time frame, but one month is reasonable after rhinoplasty.  If you cannot breath through your nose after that, see your doctor, because there may be a problem.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Internal nose swelling generally better after 3 weeks

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Internal nasal swelling is greatest over the first 48-72 hours and subsequently subsiding substantially by 3 weeks, However a process called the nasal cycle can create an alternating cycle of obstruction passing from one side of the nose to the other and lasting approximately 2 hours

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.