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Hi all,

I had a septo-rhinoplasty with inferior turbinate reduction about seven weeks ago (December 15).  Although my nasal passageways look clear, I feel that I can never get enough airflow through my nose.  This has been clear since the three week mark, when I started to expect pretty OK breathing.

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(My breathing was fine before surgery. I went in with the intent to remove a small bump.  The doctor pointed out that my septum was twisted, adding the functional party to the surgery. I asked him to be conservative, for what it was worth.  It is smaller now, though, no denying that.)  

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Now seven weeks later, the primary doctor says all looks fine, and that there is minimal swelling. He suggested it might just be numbness, for example. However, the breathing deficit is real!  I feel like I can't *pull* through enough air, even when it's totally clear from congestion.  It wakes me up at night (it's hard to make the sleeping brain remember to mouth breathe, so I guess I wake up from shallow nose breaths) and slows me down all day. I have to open my mouth when chewing and often wake up with a sore throat from when I do manage to sleep open-mouthed.  It's no better in the morning. 

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[The doctor admitted that this complaint was pretty unusual.  Great...]

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Have I simply made my nose too small now?  I breathe marginally better when I open up the sides (with a strip, etc), but obviously this is not a permanent solution.  My work and sleep are suffering, and I'm beyond distraught (and exhausted).  Initially, I tried not to get freaked.  I waited three weeks, then four weeks, then five weeks, six weeks, now almost seven.  It looks well healed inside - a pretty, useless nose, a house with not enough room for oxygen!  I'm scared.  I wish I had left my homely-but-useful nose alone, but I know it's too late to go back in time.

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Any advice or perspective you might be able to offer would really help.

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Best,

Ana

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I feel the same way except its been months :( at first it was my right side that was deviated and i couldnt breathe out of but now its the opposite
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I am having the same symptoms, at roughly the same #of weeks post op. I can breathe only with a breathe right strip. Did you ever figure this out?
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Hello Ana,
Just check if you are going through depression, because after my septoplasry and turbinoplasty in July 2012, I felt short of breath, fast empty of air from lungs, but after a GP doctor checked me he saw that my BP was high, and breathing uneven, and prescribed me some anti depressant tablet, then my BP stabilized, and shallow breathing stopped. Now Iam doing meditation regularly, to keep the depression at bay. Hope u try meditation for anxiety and depression from utube...
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Dear Ajay,

That's very interesting, and i will certainly add more meditation to my practice! However, it's really mostly a dryness issue. I forgot about it completely over the summer, but then got a few nosebleeds starting December, then REALLY dry (even with humidifier) now through January and February. It's been 14 months since surgery, so I am hoping this won't be the story of every winter.

I am trying to be proactive - got my thyroid checked, etc.! One thing I wonder is is it related to birth control medicine (switching on and off), etc. Will report back here next year.

Best of luck to all and thanks for the advice :). It will only help!
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Look up Empty Nose Syndrome

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Although I'm late in posting here. I'd like to say that I had my nose done 30 odd years ago and haven't been able to breathe properly since. Really, for all those having no functional issue with your nose, don't have a rhinoplasty - it should be banned. The surgeon really destroyed my life. I have only survived on a few hours sleep a night if that, sometimes I spend a day or two not sleeping at all. It has all taken a toll on my health , ruined my career and family. It is only thanks to an inheritance from my parents that I'm not destitute today. They were wise and told me to accept nature. However, being persecuted and humiliated by my peers for having a big nose throughout my teen years, I wouldn't listen and in my early twenties took a step of what in hindsight was a cliff and fell into the grasp of what has to have been , for me, the worst surgeon on the planet.

I have high blood pressure, I'm overweight and now I have a moderate thickening of left ventricle of my heart and my kidneys are going downhill. They're borderline at the moment. And due to my irritability of not being able to sleep properly, I ended up getting divorced and lost my kid. Nevertheless, I am still very good terms with my ex and my daughter. They visit me often. I attribute my misfortune to my induced sleep apnoea . Read what this does- everything that I've just stated is a consequence or knock-on effect of the high blood pressure it caused. I have been slowly murdered and tortured by that "criminal" surgeon. I feel that lifers in prison who can breathe with no problem and have fairly good health are better off than me.

Now there was no real talk about what he was going to do to me or any examination of my nose. Other than saying he was going to narrow the top of my nose and reduce the tip. And whilst I was sedated just prior to being wheeled to theatre, he asked on the spot what would I like a big, medium or small nose. ##&!!, in hindsight I should have called the whole thing off.

After the bandages were removed- ( after 10 days in hospital), he said he tried to squeeze my bones near the skull as close together as he could but they wouldn't go any further. And his sidekick chimed in saying that I had a very big nose. I thought something was wrong. They gave me a mirror and the I noticed that my nose was on the other side of my face and it appeared that on one of the sides of my nose was a slight gap between the bone and the cartilage. Anyway, things were swollen and I thought it would all settle down. As the swelling went down I noticed my solid vault and septum was reduced to some skewed thin, flimsy piece of cartilage between two squished bones. I think some nose bones across the bridge were removed. My tip was shrunk and a little droopy but I thought that was done to lower the angle of my nose, my nostrils slanted inwards in a triangle formation and I also noticed the skewing of the septum looking at my nostrils from underneath in the mirror. I even noticed that a small scar I had at the top of the side of my nose seemed to have migrated closer to the tip( A lot of nose was removed, too much).

I brought the skewness of my nose and the gap to the attention of the surgeon. About the gap he said , "it's probably a bit of grizzle"- the bone seemed a little beyond the cartilage. Yeah, sure, when I pinched my nostrils together and breathed in the skin would get sucked down into the gap. Anyway, naively I asked if he could fix it and the deviation of my nose.( I also started to notice my nose getting blocked particularly on one side but didn't think anything of it at the time.) My GP said it might be some kind of allergy like dust mites, meh. ) The quack looked at my nose and said it only needed some smoothing. Ok, he was the expert, and I got the smoothing done. Well, the skin didn't get sucked down as much but, wait on, my nose was still skewed. He didn't say anything really but booked another surgery. It looked a little straighter but my breathing was really bothering me. I didn't connect the surgery and the breathing.

I returned to the surgeon and said my nose was still badly skewed. Not only that , I had developed dark markings around the bridge of my nose ( but that happened after the first operation but they didn't bother me much) and also where he supposedly smoothed, it looks like I have spidery cut marks almost breaking the surface of the skin. There's still a little bump and when I pick up the tip of my nose,it creases just at the rise of the bump and looks like the bones were together asymmetrically inducing the deviation -one side the bone went in more than the other side's bone did.

Back to the operating theatre. He didn't say exactly how he was going to do it. It ended up he pushed in the bone on one side to straighten it out. He said after he removed the bandages and the wadding up my nose whether I could breathe. Well, yeah, after my nose was blocked up with wadding , it felt good to get some air up there. He said, " I didn't want to push in too far lest you couldn't breathe". Hello? You did go too far. My breathing is badly compromised there. The bone looks pushed in and pressed into the cartilage. The left side looks markedly more pushed in that the right. Thank god he couldn't initially squeeze the right side more in the initial rhinoplasty. Breathing is a little better on that side.

(And, by the way, my nose looks really injured and not normal in passport photos I've done. I've learned to avoid cameras and if I do get a picture taken I sort of move my head slightly to the right so in the plane of the photo the skewed, cavernous mess is missed. I never do photos square to a camera anymore. It kind of looks ridiculous in family picks these days- it's always a profile shot. I won't mention the perpetual dark, baggy circles under my eyes from chronic sleep deprivation)

Believe it or not, I went to him again. He gave me short shrift and said he could do nothing else. I was out his office within less than 5 minutes I was perpetually tired and irritable.

After a few years I decided to see if I could find another surgeon. OMG, this one was talking about trying something out from a cartilage bank he created. My sister, an up and coming specialist doctor told me to ruuuuuun. And I did. I just suffered for a couple of decades and some until I tried another surgeon. He wanted to put in some synthetic material and just like wallpaper over the cracks. I told him about my breathing difficulty particularly the left side where my nose was skewed to. He opened it up with the probe he was using just inside o the bone vault just above the valve, which whilst there at the valves - there's no support and therein lies some of the difficulty I have with my breathing. He noticed my lungs expand, realising more air went through. He then said,. " I saw the rise in your lungs but you don't want a big nose, a big nose is socially unacceptable". Well, duh, but the way he said it was off and he made some slanted in joke that I perceived was at my expense to a nurse that was in the room. I was embarrassed and I just stewed and later shot off an angry email to him. Needless to say , he withdrew his services. Interestingly, I found out later that the guy got deregistered for two years for some untoward behaviour with a female patient. But what was good about him was that he made me get a CT scan of my nose to see what was what. And what a shocker. You see this thin, flimsy septum skewed to the left and then further down pushed to the right- zigzag. The passages look really narrow and the turbinates look like they're squashed up in a small space. This also picked up some sinus problems. He wanted to straighten out the septum and scrape my sinuses near my brain, oh and enlarge one of the sinus holes for better drainage. Oh, well, that wasn't going to happen.

So more years and suffering went by until a few months ago I went to a strictly ENT guy. He got another CT scan done and his solution is to truncate my turbinates and straighten out my septum , well, as much as he can and enlarge some air space - My GP read his letter to me but some of the jargon didn't stick in my memory. However, before I go through with this my GP is sending me to get a sleep study done to see if there is any other obstruction to my breathing. Well, I'd say it's all in my destroyed nose and everything that has happened is a result of it. Sinuses , high blood pressure and it's knock-on effects- heart and kidneys.

Last night I couldn't sleep at all but for two hours but even then I was semi-conscious and really fearful of circumstances. I can't breathe
and I'm fearful of whether the proposed surgery will make things worse. I've been shaking and getting very anxious and almost at the point of tears. I feel as if I'm at the end of my tether. I've read some horror stories like empty nose syndrome. And I'm not sure how my body , particularly my kidneys, will go under the anaesthetic. Also, I'm feel that my nose bones, at least on the left side, need to be widened to stop my valves closing off the air. I don't know what to do. I think I need a structural solution and am reluctant to touch the turbinates- once cut they don't grow back. I just want to breathe normally, not be conscious of it, and sleep again. I really think if this happens by blood pressure will fall and I could get on with some healing.

Anyone reading this, please, please think very carefully as to whether you need a rhinoplasty.

God help me.
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Ok this is a weird thing to say for me, but I've had a deviated septum for a long time. The way I got around it was to use Afrin until I heard about going to the ENT. So unfortunately I went to the doctor to get my breathing problem fixed or so I thought...
Now my breathing is 1000000000 times worse. Just to even the odds I do have a traumatic brain injury that I suffered driving to work one morning about 2 and a half years ago. I didn't have to do anything about it until I was not allowed to have Afrin and was required to see an ear nose and throat Dr. Who BTW screwed me up worse than I ever thought. What do I expect from all this?

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I really feel for you. I have just had septoplasty and FESS ( the sinus opp ) my advice is to find A qualified surgeon, ideally the best in their field via your gp. Hopefully they will be able to rectify this and you can get your life back on track. Good luck.
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I am in a similar situation to you. I recommend Accupuncture and to avoid further surgeries (western medicine) seriously.
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