Does This Sound Like a Left Nasal Valve Collapse?

Had septorhinoplasty preformed 3 months ago, tip was deprojected and dorsal hump was removed. Ive noticed that my breathing is worse on my left side, especially when I breath in it seems permanently stuffy and like my right side is doing all the work to breath. When I block my right nostril and then use a q-tip or pen to open up my left nostril I feel like my left side can breath so much better. I know its early can it be the swelling? or is it for sure a nasal valve collapse? Please help

Doctor Answers 8

Nasal valve collapse and surgery

Dear jd49106,

  1. You are still within the range of swelling that can be causing your symptoms
  2. It would be a good idea to visit your surgeon to see if there is anything that can be done while you are healing
  3. If the problem persists after 6 months, then you may want to do something about it

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Breathe right nasal strips will ameliorate valve problems after rhinoplasty.

It does sound like you have a valve issue. The distraction of the nostril is called the Cottle test. Purchase a breathe right nasal strip. If it opens up the left airway it's further proof that you have a valve issue.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Nasal valve collapse

Your symptoms are consistent with valve issues.  See your surgeon for re-evaluation.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Nasal obstruction after rhinoplasty

At three months there may still be some nasal swelling or it may be an anatomic problem. Nasal valve collapse is not easily diagnosed by the patient. I think you should visit your surgeon to have this seen.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Self diagnosis can be dangerous

Why not go back to see you plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon, whoever did your original surgery.  It is possible you have some internal valve problem or just some prolonged swelling in the septum.  He or she would be best able to diagnose your problem.  In terms of revisions, I don't do any type of revision for at least 6 months but prefer to wait 9-12 months.  Many resolve without the need for touch-up.  Good luck, Dr. Schuster in Boca Raton.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Left nasal valve collapse

While it is quite possible that you have nasal valve collapse, it still  can be swelling since it has only been three months since your surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nasal valve collapse after rhinoplasty can be corrected.


I think you are right.  Get evaluated.  A revision rhinoplasty with cartilage grafts can correct nasal valve collapse.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Might be internal nasal valve


Thank you for the question.  From your description it may be possible that you have an internal nasal valve problem.  An evaluation by your plastic surgeon would be needed to make sure.  To correct an internal nasal valve problem temporarily a breathe right strip can be used.  To correct it definitively spreader grafts would be needed.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

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