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!

JenniferK

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 

Cosmetic surgery to remove or reduce a bump and surgery to repair a deviated septum (septoplasty) are different things. Usually a rhinoplasty is performed to improve the look of your nose, in your case to reduce a bump on the bridge. Nose surgery to fix a deviated septum is done because the septum is tilting too far to one side, blocking a person's airway and causing congestion. Both procedures can be in combination, if necessary.



Following any type of surgery there is likely to be swelling. Swelling is normal (as are some minor post-op breathing difficulties if general anesthesia was used). However, if your nasal airways are blocked and you have difficulty breathing now, you should definitely discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

Shaving down a bump is relatively easy in terms of the surgical technique used. The challenge is ensuring that the nose looks good long-term without creating other cosmetic issues once the bump has been removed. The nose reshaping procedure you mentioned in your question is pretty straightforward and your recovery should be relatively quick. Again, if you have any difficulty breathing or have airway problems, please be sure to mention it to your surgeon during your consultation.

Dr. Alexander Ovchinsky has 10 Revision Rhinoplasty before & afters:

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Assuming you didn't have any breathing issues prior to your rhinoplasty, you shouldn't have any issues following the procedure. Rhinoplasty surgery is one of the most common types of plastic surgery. If you have a bump on the bridge of your nose -- sometimes referred to as a dorsal hump -- there are a few options you can pursue, however, they usually depend on the size of the bump.

If you've already consulted with a few board-certified plastic surgeons prior to scheduling your rhinoplasty procedure and they've recommended "shaving" the bump over an osteotomy (surgical removal of the hump), then your rhinoplasty recovery should be relatively quick.

All potential rhinoplasty patients need to inform their doctor if they have any breathing problems prior to going forward with this procedure.

Hi-

  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!