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"Can rhinoplasty result in blocked nasal passages?"

ZocdocAnswersCan rhinoplasty result in blocked nasal passages?

Question

My wife recently got rhinoplasty, and she's fairly pleased with the results. But this was more than a month ago, and she's still complaining (on and off) about having a stuffy nose. Could it be that the rhinoplasty somehow blocked her nasal passage or interfered in another way with her breathing? If so, was this some kind of surgical error?

Answer

Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that is usually uncomplicated. However, like all surgery procedures, there is the potential for complication. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include the plastic surgeon who performed the procedure. After rhinoplasty, the most common cause of stuffy nose is some residual swelling of the nasal mucosa. This generally gets better over a periods of a few weeks. However, in some cases it requires another minor surgical procedure to remove extra tissue from inside the nose. Other possibilities include a collection of blood inside the tissue of the nose from the surgery, called a septal hematoma. This is a complication that is more common immediately after surgery and less so when the bulk of healing is done. Another common problem in the period soon after the surgery is infection. This is more common if there is pain, swelling, fever, or drainage and may require antibiotic treatment. Finally, as the tissue heals, rarely there can be scar formation inside the nose which leads to the feeling of nasal blockage. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your wife's specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your plastic surgeon is highly recommended.

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