Trouble Breathing After Second Nasal Surgery?

I had rhinoplasty for a tip refinement 3 years ago. Ever since, I've had difficulty breathing from my right nostril and my breathing is greatly improved with the use of Breathe Right Strips. A month ago, I had revision septoplasty with spreader grafts and batten grafts. I STILL have problems with my right side and Breathe Right Strips still work. Did this second surgery fail? My surgeon was voted one of the top plastic surgeons in NYC. I am devasted that this will be a lifelong issue.

Doctor Answers 7

Breathing issue after rhinoplasty

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Spreader grafts are often the solution, but not always. There are many factors that contribute to breathing difficulties. But, I will say that at one month, the nose may still be swollen inside contributing to your problem.  Give it more time.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Trouble breathing after second Rhinoplasty

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It sounds like you still have nasal valve collapse. You may need a butterfly spreader graft to further open the nasal valve. Fixing nasal valves can be tricky and even the best surgeons may encounter problems. It may also have something to do with your healing. There are many factors that can affect outcome. See link below for treatment options.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 reviews

Persistent breathing problems after revision rhinoplasty

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I agree with the other surgeons here who suggest that it may be too early to say if your latest surgery has failed. It doesn't take much internal nasal swelling to cause persistent congestion. It sounds like your revision rhinoplasty was done by an experienced surgeon, which is favorable. I would continuing following up with your surgeon to see how everything heals.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Trouble Breathing After Second Nasal Surgery

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Your description of your surgeons suggests that they are highly experienced. However, It is unfortunate that you're still having breathing issues after surgery. It is quite possible that you still have some swelling inside your nasal passage that is causing some obstruction in the "nasal valve" area. If after a few months you're still experiencing the same issues, I would recommend you revisit the issue with your surgeon. There are other options for treatment of nasal obstruction that spreader grafts are often highly effective for treatment of nasal valve collapse. It is still too early to judge the result from a breathing standpoint. But in the meantime you should be reassured that other options exist and that this should not be a lifetime issue for you. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Swelling and difficulty breathing after revision rhinoplasty

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Revision rhinoplasty patients often ask for improvement in nasal airway breathing.  In my Santa Monica and Beverly Hills practice, it is important to preoperatively determine whether breathing problems are a medical and allergic concern, or a mechanical obstruction. In the early phase after surgery, swelling is the most likely culprit for breathing difficulties. Speak to your plastic surgeon. Raffy Karamanoukian Surgery90210

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Nasal breathing problems

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If your problem was due to internal nasal valve collapse the spreader grafts should help you.  One month is early and your may have some internal nasal edema.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Nasal valve obstruction

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I agree that the nasal valve is a tricky area to fix, and spreaders are not always the best thing to use.  However, I would also point out that if it has only been 1 month since your revision, it may be too early to call the surgery unsuccessful.  The nasal valve is a narrow area anatomically no matter what graft is used to open it.  Therefore, it doesn't take much swelling to affect the valve area.  You might give it a few months to settle down before you get completely discouraged. 

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.