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Doctor insights on: Still Can T Breathe After Septoplasty

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,285 Doctors shared insights

Difficulty Breathing (Definition)

If you are having difficulty breathing, you feel as though you are able to get enough air in, or get air out. Your oxygen ...Read more


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Hi, I had a septoplasty six weeks ago and I still can't breathe out of my left nostril. Is that normal?

Septoplasty: Greetings. In my opinion 6 weeks after a Septoplasty, you should notice positive changes in your nasal breathing. After the surgery, I typically use intranasal splints to help assure that the corrected septum stays midline. Not all doctors use splints. I would ask your surgeon why you still notice resistance. I would question scar formation and turbinate swelling. I hope you breathe better soon. ...Read more

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I've heard septoplasty can cause horrible headaches. Is that true? Will they be worse than the headaches I already get from not being able to breathe? I've read some comments from people who got them that suggest they were much worse. How long would they

I've heard septoplasty can cause horrible headaches. Is that true? Will they be worse than the headaches I already get from not being able to breathe? I've read some comments from people who got them that suggest they were much worse. How long would they

I: I do think some people can get a headache from the procedure. Septoplasty can be uncomfortable, but the discomfort does resolve. I would be careful that your headaches may be from something else rather than the problems breathing. That would be a rare cause of headache. A risk of surgery would be that the breathing gets better, but the headache remains. There is a controversial diagnosis called "contact headache" that is thought to be from contact between the septum and the turbinates, deep in the nose. This can be diagnosed by numbing that area during the headache--if the pain resolves with the placement of lidocaine, you may do well with the surgery to separate the contact point. As surgeons, we should remember that there is a risk that "surgery for pain causes pain.". ...Read more

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My kid has perfed septum and is having a septoplasty and has a lot of trouble breath nasaly will she need any other surgerys. Also a huge insomniac?

My kid has perfed septum and is having a septoplasty and has a lot of trouble breath nasaly will she need any other surgerys. Also a huge insomniac?

Probably: You would definitely need to have your child seen by a doctor-- either an ENT or plastic surgeon would be best. Corrected a perforated septum is complex and may require cartilage grafting, septoplasty, or other nasal reconstruction. There are many causes of snoring. Again, seeing a doctor is best. ...Read more

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Is it safe to use breath right nasal strips 25 days after septoplasty surgery?

Yes: The hope after septoplasty is that you'll no longer need them. Mild crusting and swelling may persist for the next few weeks. Gentle saline irritations may help also. ...Read more

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After having septoplasty procedure, when can I clean my nose and breath through it?

After having septoplasty procedure, when can I clean my nose and breath through it?

Salt water rinse: After a septoplasty, there is usually blod clots and crusting that can linger in the nasal cavity. Generally it is safe to use a saline mist spray or even a saline rinse (no tap water - distilled water only). Your surgeon would be the best to tell you what else you can do. If it is really bothersome, your surgeon can usually clean out the nasal cavity in the office if the home remedies don't work. ...Read more

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I had septoplasty 3weeks ago bcs my left nostril had block I breathe good after surgry but now prob is same I not get satisfy ans from doc please advice.

Nasal congestion: Post op congestion can be related to nasal dryness and crusting, turbinate swelling or persistent septal deviation if you accidentally bumped your nose. Use some saline spray and drink more fluids, plan on a revisit with your surgeon in 1 month if your symptoms don't improve. ...Read more

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Having septoplasty/sinus surgery in 3 days. I'm 4th day into vicious head cold. Cant breathe out of either nostril. Should surgery be postponed?

Having septoplasty/sinus surgery in 3 days. I'm 4th day into vicious head cold. Cant breathe out of either nostril. Should surgery be postponed?

Maybe if elective: If a surgery is elective (not needing to be done right away), one can reschedule it to a better time when an acute illness has resolved. ...Read more

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Just had a Septoplasty on 7/23 with Submucosal Resection, was able to breathe in through nostril 1 day post-op; as of 2 hours ago feels unable to breathe in through the nostrils at all. Is this a cause for concern?

Just had a Septoplasty on 7/23 with Submucosal Resection, was able to breathe in through nostril 1 day post-op; as of 2 hours ago feels unable to breathe in through the nostrils at all. Is this a cause for concern?

You must discus: This with your treating physician. Call, first thing in the morning. I'm sure you have had several days lately, when you couldn't breathe through your nose, with all the surgery and all. ...Read more

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I had septoplasty surgery in Oct 2014 which straighten my deviated septum &reduced my turbinates. It's May 2015 &my nose is swollen again, making it hard to breathe. It keeps swelling on and off constantly. What can I do?

I had septoplasty surgery in Oct 2014 which straighten my deviated septum &reduced my turbinates. It's May 2015 &my nose is swollen again, making it hard to breathe. It keeps swelling on and off constantly. What can I do?

?: Have you tried pseudoephedrine? You can get it by itself, but it's even better if you get Claritin-D or Zyrtec-D (the "D" indicates pseudoephedrine is one of the ingredients) because, this time of year, allergies are very common, would account for your recurrent symptoms, and get better with the 2 drugs I listed - you may need to take it twice a day until spring is over. Ask 4 it at your pharmacy. ...Read more

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Septoplasty yesterday morning. Breathe normal until 15 hours post op. Nose 100% blocked up and ears pop when I swallow. Makes me panic/ dizzy. Normal?

Septoplasty yesterday morning. Breathe normal until 15 hours post op. Nose 100% blocked up and ears pop when I swallow. Makes me panic/ dizzy. Normal?

Yes, normal: This is caused by swelling both in the nose and in the nasopharynx, the area behind the nose and above the throat. Your eustachian tubes live there and they swell up too, blocking air from getting into your middle ear space. Thus, pressure changes occur in the middle ear space, causing blocked hearing and sometimes pain. ...Read more

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The right side of my nose/sinus is almost always blocked. It affects my sleep. I breathe through/have dry mouth. I lose my voice easily. I have already had two septoplasty/turbinate reductions. Ideas?

The right side of my nose/sinus is almost always blocked. It affects my sleep. I breathe through/have dry mouth. I lose my voice easily. I have already had two septoplasty/turbinate reductions. Ideas?

Nasal Valve: Hello. The problem with breathing thru your nose may be related to a decrease in the nasal valve. This is in the upper nostril area and a major limiting factor for nasal breathing. Ask your surgeon or get a second opinion regarding your nasal airway. Allergy, sinusitis and non allergic rhinitis may also be to blame. ...Read more

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I had septoplasy done last week. I'm blowing my nose and no blood is coming out is it ok for me to still blow? Even blowing I still can't breathe?

I had septoplasy done last week. I'm blowing my nose and no blood is coming out is it ok for me to still blow? Even blowing I still can't breathe?

Septoplasty: Dear fmjm721: you should not blow! Consult your surgeon for instructions on nasal toilet. Please be gentle and be careful. ...Read more

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Is the risk of complications higher with a second septoplasty? My first septoplasty didn't improve things much. I've found another surgeon who seems to have a high success rate with revision septoplasties. But I'm still worried

Is the risk of complications higher with a second septoplasty? My first septoplasty didn't improve things much. I've found another surgeon who seems to have a high success rate with revision septoplasties. But I'm still worried

The: The risk of septal perforation or tears is higher secondary to the scar tissue formation from your prior surgery but there are techniques that can be applied surgically to minimize this risk and isn't usually a major problem. My biggest concern with you is why didn't the original septoplasty help? Was the reason that the prior septal deformities weren't corrected, or is it that there is another cause for your nasal obstruction that is being attributed to the septum. For instance, do you have persistently enlarged turbinates contributing to the blockage? (have someone do an afrin challenge test). Do you have internal valve collapse? (have someone do a cottle maneuver). Do you have external valve collapse? (have someone do a probe test). The point is you should have an experienced physician who understands the different causes of nasal obstruction make a proper diagnosis as to the cause of your breathing problem before committing to a procedure that may not help you. I'm not saying it can't be from the septum, but there are other causes too. Good-luck. ...Read more

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Had septoplasty surgery 7 days ago still really stuffed up. Is this normal?

Had septoplasty surgery 7 days ago still really stuffed up. Is this normal?

Not unusual: This may be due to postoperative edema.After using decongestant if it does not settle you should contact your operating surgeon. ...Read more

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I had no smell for 2 years. Had septoplasty. Still no smell. Temporarily smell returns with smoke. What do I do?

Persistent swelling?: Evaluate swelling but this may require an imaging study. Occasionally persistent swelling may cause an impaired sense of smell and nasal steroids may help. However this will best be determined by your surgeon. ...Read more

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I had undergone FESS and septoplasty on 19th sept. But still I have sometimes slight head heaviness as it used to be earlier.

I had undergone FESS and septoplasty on 19th sept. But still I have sometimes slight head heaviness as it used to be earlier.

Ask your ENT: If it has been a while (over 1-2 weeks) and you are getting little or no relief, you need to see the doc that performed the FESS in the original procedure to decide next steps... ...Read more

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I had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty 3 weeks ago and I'm still feeling very congested - almost the same as I was before. Is it normal after?

I had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty 3 weeks ago and I'm still feeling very congested - almost the same as I was before. Is it normal after?

Certainly can be!: Swelling and congestion can last for weeks or longer, and you shouldn't even blow your nose for the first 3-4 weeks! This will continue to improve as time goes by, but in rare cases revision surgery can be necessary. Be patient and continue to follow-up with your surgeon! ...Read more

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Is it possible for a septoplasty to fail? Is it possible that a septoplasty could be performed only to have the patient still complain of breathing issues? .

Is it possible for a septoplasty to fail? Is it possible that a septoplasty could be performed only to have the patient still complain of breathing issues? .

It: It is possible for a septoplasty to fail. Reasons for a true failure include failure of total correction of a deviated septum, failure to remove the bony part of the septum, failure to address inflamed turbinates, which are bony protrusions in the nose, covered by mucosa that can inflame and swell, and residual swelling from allergies or sinusitis.

Early after surgery, difficulty breathing may be simply due to crusting or clots. Gentle cleansing with salt water or a netti pot may be helpful, but first check with your surgeon.

If your symptoms persist 4-6 weeks after surgery, it's time to evaluate the other issues. ...Read more

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Can you still develop sinusitis after septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction?

Can you still develop sinusitis after septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction?

Definitely: This surgery will not prevent sinusitis which is related to other factors that affect sinus function. ...Read more

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I had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty 3 weeks ago and still feel very congested. Almost the same as before. Is this normal or did the surgery fail?

I had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty 3 weeks ago and still feel very congested. Almost the same as before. Is this normal or did the surgery fail?

Swelling or splint: Septoplasty and turbinoplasty often require internal splints which may contribute to your congested feeling. If there is no splint it often takes 6-12 weeks for the swelling to subside (post traumatic rhinitis). Speak to your doctor. Simple elevation at night time or nasal sprays may be all that is necessary. ...Read more

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Hello I am monica, one month ago I had my septoplasty, turbinoplasty surgery. Its been one month and swelling is still there. How swelling can be reduced?

Hello I am monica, one month ago I had my septoplasty, turbinoplasty surgery. Its been one month and swelling is still there. How swelling can be reduced?

Rhinoplasty?: If you had surgery only on the septum & turbinates then you should not have any significant swelling of the nose on the outside. The internal swelling can be reduced by antihistamines as usually patients requiring turbinate work tend to be more prone to allergies. Also using anti-inflammatory medications help. Using cold water nasal washes also help. If associated rhinoplasty then 4-6mths swelling. ...Read more

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Is it possible that I am still healing from a septoplasty and sinus surgery after 8 months?

Is it possible that I am still healing from a septoplasty and sinus surgery after 8 months?

Unsure of your Q: When you say still healing can you clarify?
Wound healing? Breathing issues? Swelling.? It would help if you could please provide a little more info, it in general yes you can still be healing 12 months postop. Thanks. ...Read more

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Could I still be healing from a septoplasty and sinus surgery even though it has been 8 months?

Could I still be healing from a septoplasty and sinus surgery even though it has been 8 months?

Unusual: Patients usually take weeks to 3 months to fully recover from all aspects of sinus and septal surgery (swelling, remucosalization, cilia healing, etc.) ...Read more

Dr. Suzanne Galli
403 Doctors shared insights

Septoplasty (Definition)

Altering the anatomy of the septum for improvement in breathing or appearance of nose. See ...Read more