How Long After a Rhinoplasty Will I be Able to Breathe?

I'm interested in having a rhinoplasty, but have heard it could be months before I can breathe through my nose again. I know this depends on how complicated your rhinoplasty is, which will determine the amount of swelling that occurs. I have a small bump on the bridge of my nose that I want to have shaved down. How much swelling should I expect from this type of rhinoplasty and how long on average will it be before I can breathe through my nose? Thank you!


F, 26, New York

Jennifer, Post operative airway issues are usually related to the presence of breathing difficulties prior to surgery. If you do not have breathing difficulties then you should be able to breathe through you nose soon after the surgery. If you do have breathing difficulties then these should be addressed at the time of surgery, because if you reduce the bump and make your nose smaller your airway will also decrease in size making the breathing issues more prominent. There is some post operative dryness that can be controlled with nasal lubrication. The dryness may increase internal swelling resulting in some airway issues. This would be discussed at you personalized consultation. To schedule a consultation, please call my office at 718-987-0300. i look forward to meeting you. 

John W Decorato, MD 


  If you only have a hump on the dorsum this is a very quick procedure and can generally be performed in a closed fashion through a small incision on the inside of your nose. It may stay slightly swollen for a few month but you should be able to breathe normally immediately following the operation. Of course if the rhinoplasty is more involved needing an open operation the swelling may last longer and your breathing through your nose may be changed for the first week- 10 days. Hope this was helpful. Good Luck!