Why Am I Still Breathing Bad 6 Months After Septoplasty?

I had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty back in January. My breathing has not improved at all. To be honest it feels worse. I have gone to my Dr. many times since the surgery and he is saying that it looks clear. I can only breathe out of one nostril at a time and the one I can breathe out of feels clogged all the time. I dont know what to do or what is causing it. he has tried me on all types of medicine and took bllod work for allergy test. Nothing came back. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 4

Breathing problems after septoplasty

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The lining of the nose is very complex and can be very reactive.  Your nasal obstruction can be from lining reactivity issues related to vasomotor rhinitis, where allergy testing is usually negative but you have the typical history of nasal obstruction often exacerbated by exercise, scents, humidity/weather changes, etc.  Anatomically, if you have even a mild nasal valve collapse, the asymmetry in the cross-sectional area of your nose, compounded with your lining reactivity, can result in nasal airway obstruction that alternates from one side to another.  There are many causes for nasal obstruction and it is best to have an evaluation by an experienced nasal specialist.  Not all of the causes for nasal obstruction have a complete solution.  

Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Can't breathe after surgery

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I would see and ENT/facial plastic surgeon to address your concerns (unless you surgeon is one of them).  The nose is quite a complicated structure and there can be several reasons why you can't breathe.  Some require medicine, some time, and other surgery.  Only a consultation or a visit back to your doctor would you be able to tell.


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Septoplasty and breathing

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If there was an obvious obstruction from a septum, then usually when straightening it, the airway improves. However, some patients have other causes of breathing difficulties related to the sinuses and allergies. This should be evaluated as well.

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

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Can't Breathe!

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The nasal septum is only one structural component of the internal nasal valve region (the cross sectional area of this valve controls your nasal air flow).  A reconstructive Head & Neck Surgeon who is also a board certified Facial Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon may be your best bet for future surgical success.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.