Had Septorhinoplasty Done and Cant Breathe Through a Nostril After 11 Days Post Op??!

Hello, I am a 25 y/o male who is very concerned that I can barely breathe out and cant breathe in at at all through my one nostril. The same nostril I had trouble breathing out of pre-surgery. Splints were taken out 7 days post op. Should I be worried? ahh stressful! The last thing I want is to go through this all over again! :(

Doctor Answers 7

Can breathe through nose 11 days after septo-rhinoplasty

Having complete blockage can be from swelling, but you should really have your surgeon check it out to make sure nothing else is going on. Often people note some rebound congestion once the splints are removed. It's too early to assess if any other surgery needs to be done.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Can take time for swelling to resolve and airway to open

In some patients some of the swelling will recur after the splints are removed. I would tell one of my patients in a similar situation to return in one week to be reevaluated. However most of my patients breath quite well immediately after the splints are removed. Furthermore there are other structures such as tr turbinates and internal nasal valve that at times needs to be addresses to improve breathing.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Had Septorhinoplasty Done and Cant Breathe Through a Nostril After 11 Days Post Op??!

if the breathing was better after the splint came out and has gotten worse abruptly, you should be examined to make sure you did not collect blood in the space where the septum was removed. this can be drained easily if its the case. most often, the swelling is worst at 5-10 days, so hang in there, but definitely see your doctor for an internal nasal exam.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Reduced nasal breathing after Rhinoplasty

It's natural to have swelling inside the nose that reduces the airway during initial post Rhinoplasty phase.  This should subside over the next several weeks, IMHO but you may want to ask the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty during your next post op visit.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Difficulty Breathing After Septorhinoplasty

In the first several weeks after septorhinoplasty or rhinoplasty, difficulty breathing through the nose is normal and can be attributed to crusts of dried blood or mucus, internal stitches, or just plain old swelling. The one thing you need to have your surgeon check for is a collection of blood under the mucus membrane of the septum (septal hematoma). Saline nasal sprays will loosen up the crusts and may give you some relief but it will take time for the swelling to resolve. In the long run, correction of the septum will not correct all cases of nasal obstruction if there are other factors, such as allergies, in play. One last consideration is that if your rhinoplasty was done to reduce the size of your nose, remember that any reduction of the external volume will also reduce the internal volume and decrease the nasal airflow. For now, use the saline nasal spray, a bedside room air humidifier and give it some time.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Can't breath 11 days post rhinplasty

The ability to breath well through the nose after rhinoplasty varries greatly from patient to patient. Ask your surgeon to examine your nasal passages and i am sure he can explain the issue based on what he did and how you are healing

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


I always tell my patients, that treating the septum may not always improve the breathing. There are a lot of factors that can affect the breathing. This includes the septum, the internal nasal valve, the external nasal valve, the turbinates, the sinuses, and allergies to name a few.  Usually early post-op patients have trouble breathing because of swelling and this should get better with time.

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