How to Alleviate Congestion after Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction

Mirror 3D Imaging
Doctor's hands checking the nose of a young woman on yellow background

Septoplasty is performed to restore a deviated, deformed, or displaced nasal septum, which is the cartilage and bone structure dividing the nose into two cavities. Turbinate reduction corrects enlarged or swollen turbinates — bony structures found in the nostrils that regulate airflow and heat and humidify inhaled air. Both procedures can bring relief to patients who likely struggle with congestion due to the deformed nasal structures, improving their quality of life.

However, congestion may be experienced after these nose procedures, though this is not a reason to worry. Nasal congestion is a common temporary occurrence following the mentioned procedures due to the swelling of the tissues.


Septoplasty and turbinoplasty recovery & aftercare for nasal congestion

As a part of the entire six-to-eight-week recovery process, temporary congestion is expected immediately after the surgery. With proper aftercare and adherence to your doctor’s post-operative instructions, you can alleviate your stuffy nose faster.

How long does congestion last after septoplasty?

Knowing that congestion will be experienced immediately following the surgical procedure, you may ask yourself, “When will I be able to breathe after septoplasty?”

Temporary nasal congestion and tissue swelling can last approximately seven to ten days post-procedure. Recovery time varies between patients (depending on how invasive the surgery was), but following your physician’s post-op instructions will help speed up the process.

Your physician may also insert a special nasal packing in the nose post-surgery or place intranasal splints during the procedure. Though both of these will add to the general congestion, they can also contribute to a faster overall recovery. The packing and the splints will be removed from your nose at one of your follow up appointments when appropriate.

Although temporary, nasal congestion will still be a frustrating experience for septoplasty and turbinoplasty patients. There are several ways to alleviate a stuffy nose post-procedure:

  • Using a cool-mist vaporizer
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom
  • Using salt-water and saline irrigation to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Taking decongestants as prescribed by your doctor
  • Resting with your head elevated

While decongestant nasal sprays are available over-the-counter, it’s important to note that excessive use is one of the causes of enlarged turbinates.

What to eat after septoplasty and turbinate reduction?

There are no specific dietary restrictions following turbinate reduction or a septoplasty procedure. However, patients must avoid consuming hot drinks and food items, which may worsen the risk of bleeding.


Questions about Congestion after Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction?

Besides nasal stuffiness, patients can also expect fatigue and mild nasal discharge, which are all part of the healing process. If you have any inquiries about congestion after septoplasty and turbinate reduction or other post-surgery effects, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic.

We can also help you choose the best treatment for you, whether it be septoplasty, turbinate reduction, or a combination of the two. Consider scheduling a consultation with an industry expert renowned for their surgical ability and experience in cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty. Dr. Jacob Sedgh is the leading facial plastic surgeon in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, boasting over two decades of experience and continuing to improve and refine his surgical knowledge and techniques.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.