Question for Dr. Kridel: I can’t breathe well 10 years post-op Rhinoplasty, what to do?

December 6th, 2011 Dr. Russell Kridel

ANSWER:  Rhinoplasty should balance form as well as function. A nose that looks good but doesn’t breathe well is not acceptable. Sometimes rhinoplasty techniques can decrease breathing if proper attention to the airway wasn’t taken at the time of surgery.  However, sometimes breathing difficulty can be a result of nasal allergies, and no surgery can do away with allergies. With your post-operative description of air being real tight to get through your nasal passage, sniffing and use of a neti pot 2 times a day, dryness inside nose and worsening of allergic symptoms suggests allergy issues.  First stop for you is a board certified otolaryngologist (ENT) or a facial plastic surgeon that is also board certified in otolaryngology because they have extensive training in both nasal anatomy, as well as aesthetics.  You need a thorough evaluation of your airway and sinuses to see what the inside problem could be. It could be sinus disease, polyps, an empty nose syndrome, a deviated septum, a septal perforation, just plain allergy, etc. Also it could be a valve problem that will require grafting. Most insurance companies recognize nasal airway problems as medical in nature and not cosmetic if you and your surgeon determine that revision nasal surgery is required.

— Dr. Kridel, Houston, TX