Is it normal for my nose to be completely clogged three days after rhinoplasty?

I just got my surgery done three days ago and I can't breath at all through my nose which is a very frustrating. Is that normal? Does that happen to most people? I just want to be sure I'm not the only one. Also, is there a way to clean the dry blood without causing any harm to my nose? Thanks for all the help!

Doctor Answers 5

Blockage after Rhinoplasty

Dear Valerie101, While it may be aggravating it is not uncommon to have some blockage in your nose after rhinoplasty surgery. Your surgeon will help clean your nose for you and will provide you instructions for cleaning your nose at home. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Recovering from rhinoplasty and congestion.

Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Part of that process is waiting for swelling to go down inside your nose so you can breathe.

In the first few days, you may have dried blood blocking your nose. In the following 6-8 weeks the majority of swelling will go down. Over the next 6-9 months you'll experience a downward trending rollercoaster of swelling going up and down depending on your exposure to heat, sun, or salt. 

The swelling commonly goes down in an uneven way. First one side and then the other so you the blocked side of your nose may vary. Your surgeon can clean your nose safely. It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions and keep your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can track your progress toward a safe and happy outcome. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Is it normal for my nose to be completely clogged three days after rhinoplasty?

Yes, that can be a normal result within the first few days. While uncomfortable it is important to make sure that you follow your surgeon's instructions before varying from protocol. Good luck.

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews


Thank you for your question. There are common ways to clean the dry blood without causing harm to your nose, most notable by using a soaked Q-tip to gently clean the inside and a drip pad at the base of your nose to collect blood. It is not uncommon to experience nasal blockage after surgery. We suggest that you consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon to review the recovery instructions that they provided. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Difficulty breathing after Rhinoplaty.

Yes it can happen if the nose is packed. Swelling too can cause obstruction but will improve as the swelling subsides. Occasionally dried blood in the nose can also result in temporary breathing difficulty. I recommend waiting and see your surgeon for any concerns

M. Azhar Ali, MD, FACS
Bloomfield Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.