One Side Can Breath Better Than the Other?

Hello doctors! I got septorhinoplasty 3 months ago and ive noticed that one of the sides of the nose can breath a lot worse then the other (cant inhale properly) and the other one breathes 100%. Also when i look inside my nose the side that cant breath properly the hole looks smaller? Do you think this is caused by the swelling still or am i stuck with the one side breathing a lot worse until i consider getting a revision in the future? Thank you

Doctor Answers 4

Nasal obstruction

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When you say one hole looks smaller it is possible the nostril on that side is collapsing due to lack of alar support.  This is the external nasal valve and it can be fixed by placing an alar graft.  It is possible your obstruction is due to another matter so photos could help better diagnose your problem. 

Valve problems are not corrected by a septoplasty and turbinectomy.

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It's possible that you have a valve problem that would not have been corrected by septoplasty and turbinectomy. By a breathe right nasal strip and see if it helps the problem. If so it's good evidence that there is a valve issue.

Ventilatory failure

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Thank you for your question, 3 month after Septorhinoplasty you should breath well or at least better than before. What was the diagnose before surgery?

It would be interesting kowing how your septum and breath were prior to the surgery. There are multiple problems related to the healing process after surgery and in your case maybe has to be with the einternal valve. Try to do the Cottle manouver and feel what happen: Put a finger in your cheek Pull from medial to lateral a see if your breath improves. In affirmative case, it is a, internal valve colapse. 


All the  best

Andres Freschi, MD
Argentina Plastic Surgeon

Swelling versus septum versus turbinates

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Hello JD,

Thank you for the question.  I suspect that your septum may be narrowing the airway passage through one of your nostrils.  I would have your plastic surgeon take a look inside to see what is the source of the breathing issue since a septoplasty is in part designed to improve nasal airway by correcting any curve or position issues.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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