When Will I Be Able To Breathe Properly After Deviated Septum Surgery?

I'm 5 weeks post-op. My right nostrel is now NARROWER & no air comes through it! My left nostrel is ok unless I'm lying down. It feels like there's an OBSTRUCTION in upper part of my nose where the bone is. It aches. I also have ear-ache when I'm lying on my sides. My surgeon said it can take 6 months for swelling to go down & recommends antihistamines, but I'm wondering if I have enlarged turbinates? Or whether he's right and this is normal & I will get better?!

Doctor Answers 2

Trust your doctor

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I tell my patients that nose surgery is a lot like back surgery or knee surgery.  It takes a long time to resume normal activity (or breathing).  You will not run a marathon right away.  As for you breathing difficulty, you could have some scabbing or dryness. It can take months for normal nasal function to be restored.

Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Septoplasty Recovery

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Dear Jenni,

Did you have Septorhinoplasty or just Septoplasty? Your nostrils should not be altered by the Septoplasty alone? Typically when I do most of my nasal procedures from Rhinoplasty, Septorhinoplasty or Septoplasty I will do turbinate surgery if necessary. If you do not correct deviated septum's and turbinates even if the patient had no pre existing breathing problems they may develop them after surgery due to the nose being made smaller. Your surgeon knows best what was done! Explain your concerns to him/her and then follow the recommended post operative instructions. It does take time to heal however most patients have increased breathing relief after the first month and I would discuss your pain issues as well. Wishing you a quick recovery! Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

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