I'm 3 Weeks Post Op Rhinoplasty and I Still Can't Breathe out of my Right Nostril?

I'm 3 weeks post op rhinoplasty and I can't breathe out of my right nostril at all. From the moment after surgery I have'nt been able to it's completely 100% blocked. My left nostril is fine I can breathe out of it most of the time luckily cause Im relying on that one when Im sleeping. What does that mean for my right nostril will it eventually open up on it's own?

Doctor Answers 6


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This is normal. You have lots of swelling that will resolve with time. You will have to be patient until most of the swelling and dried discharged have resolved.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Right Blockage

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Unilateral nasal obstruction is definitely a postoperative bother.  However, your surgeon may be able to help your acute condition, as you continue to heal.  Please follow-up with your doctor. 

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

Nasal blockage

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Nasal blockage after surgery may be dues to swelling.  It is a good idea to have a follow-up exam by your surgeon at this point. Sometimes nasal sprays can improve things for you during the healing process.

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

Stuffy breathing after rhinoplasty

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It takes a while for intranasal swelling to resolve. I generally advise my patients that their breathing will often be worse for 6-8 weeks after surgery. I'd suggest, though, that you have your surgeon take a look inside your nose to ensure that all is well and the swelling will resolve. If really bothersome and all else looks good inside your nose, your doctor may decide to prescribe a steroid nasal inhaler to provide relief as you continue to heal. 

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Difficulty Breathing 3 Weeks After Rhinoplasty

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It is common that patients experience unilateral nasal obstruction due to swelling or scabs formation.

I recommend that you try nasal saline spray in both nostrils and to follow your surgeon's instructions; your daily salt intake should be controlled to help with the swelling as well as sleeping at an inclined angle.

It is important that you keep your surgeon in the loop of your recovery process and about your difficulty of breathing. Being a little patient is required at this time letting nature take its course so the swelling can subside.


I hope this helps.
Thank you for your inquiry.
The best of luck to you.

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

It might be normal at this stage of healing but consult your surgeon

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the breathing difficulties you describe are typical and normal for many patients. You probably have a lot of swelling and it should resolve with time. Many patients struggle with recovery time expecting quick, almost instant results as far as breathing and appearance of their nose. Although pretty good results should be expected in 2 weeks,  Unfortunately  complete healing takes time. You should follow up with your surgeon. Maybe he can take a look and clean the inside of your nose. You should also follow your surgeon’s instruction how to take care of your nose during the recovery time.

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.