Stuffy nose after septorhinoplasty. When will I be able to breathe normally again?

I had a septorhinoplasty 18 days ago and my nose is still stuffy. When will I be able to breathe normally again? I have an appointment with my surgeon in three weeks, and I would like to know what should be my expectations by then. I'm happy with the aesthetic result, though I still have some bumps on each side of the nose - it was explained to me they were a result from the osteotomies. They aren't really noticeable, but I can feel them. Right now I'm more concerned about functional issues.

Doctor Answers 3

Stuffy nose after septorhinoplasty. When will I be able to breathe normally again?

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Post-operative swelling can cause congestion, making it difficult to breathe after surgery. This is something that resolves over time. Post-op swelling can also give the appearance of asymmetry and irregularities. 18 days is still soon after surgery, and you will need some time to heal. I would recommend following up with your surgeon regarding any post-operative concerns, as he/she knows the details of your procedure and will be able to advise you. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Septorhinoplasty and breathing

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After a septorhinoplasty, it is not uncommon to have swelling that limits some airflow and makes you feel obstructed. This should get better with time.

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

Improvement of nasal airflow after septorhinoplasty surgery

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Resolution of internal swelling after septorhinoplasty will depend largely on what was done during rhinoplasty surgery both externally and internally - concomitant septal or turbinate or sinus surgery. Internal swelling and congestion typically improves a few weeks after surgery but can take up to 3 or 4 months to improve significantly. During this recovery period, saline nasal spray, or steroid nasal spray may be necessary to obtain temporary relief from symptoms until full recovery has occurred. You should discuss if this is required with your surgeon during your follow-up visits.

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.