Is blocked nostril a common side effect of septoplasty and sinus surgery?

Q. There is obstruction in the nostrils even after three weeks of septoplasty. Is it normal?

Answered by
Dr. Bhadragiri Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on May 07, 2021 and last reviewed on: Aug 24, 2023

Hi doctor,

I underwent a septoplasty with turbinate reduction and sinus surgery. It has been three weeks of doing surgery. I have some questions to ask you. Kindly give your opinion. My septum was present deviated to the left side with a bony spur. But now, it has been corrected. My right inferior turbinate was reduced. Now, I have a feeling of hanging or something blocking my right nostril. The doctor told me that everything is good inside my nose. But my blocking sensation is real.



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On post septoplasty and turbinate reduction, there is some amount of temporary obstruction on one side due to crusting and accumulation of secretion. The block gets reduced when the crust gets dislodged. After removing nasal packs on the second day of post-surgery, one-time suction clearance has to be done to prevent having crust accumulation. Try to have nasal wash five to six times a day. It is essential to dislodge all the secretions and crust in the nose after surgery. On average, it takes around three to four weeks to have complete relief from obstruction. The surgeon needs to do a nasal endoscopy to see for any obstruction or any segments that obstruct the airflow after surgery.

Thank you doctor,

Kindly go through my given information and help me. After three weeks of having surgery, I have undergone three suction cleaning sessions. I am using saline nasal spray five times a day after surgery. Before four days, a brownish secretion came out through my throat and it stopped. Then I got a thick rubber discharge. Sometimes, I have thin fluid discharge from my left nostril. It seems to be yellow or light green in color. I have a foul smell associated with it. My issue is in my right nostril. Though it is not completely blocked, I feel something obstructing it. Is this normal to have it after three weeks of surgery?



Welcome back to

Have nasal saline irrigations as they are more effective on comparing with saline nasal sprays. This is because irrigations can dislodge all the clots and secretions in the sinus and nasal cavity. You seem to have normal secretions and it comes down by a week. Some amount of nasal obstruction occurs commonly in the first two or three weeks. If you have this obstruction persistently, I suggest you consult your operated surgeon to evaluate the cause.

Thank you doctor,

I consulted my surgeon and I had another suction cleaning. The doctor told me that it is all good inside my nose and also told me to ignore my discomfort. But my right nostril bothers me a lot. Is there anything that I need to be aware of reduced turbinate? As it was surgically reduced, will it cause blocking sensation or numbness, or swelling inside the nose? Is there any remedy for it?



Welcome back to

Wait for a while. Some inflammation can cause nasal obstruction. Try doing nasal wash and see for improvement. The inferior turbinate is reduced to a certain extent to improve the airway. If there is under-correction or overcorrection, then both of them can cause persistent nasal obstruction. For now, you can use Otrivin nasal drops for few days. If you have some relief, then the common cause of obstruction can be under-reduction of inferior turbinate. Try to wait for some time as many patients have some obstruction which resolves in five to six weeks.

Thanks Doctor. I have been continuing nasal irrigation twice a day and white fluffy discharge is observed only from left nostril. While there is occasional “reduction” of blocking sensation, it has been a bother majorly on the right nostril. On the recent follow-up, when I repeatedly asked, the doctor said the septum has a curve/bump on the right and that septum will not be perfectly straight after surgery. “6 weeks completed” after the surgery and I still have that partial blocking on right nostril which increases and reduces frequently. Blocking is not zero at any point . Does that bend require a revision surgery? Appreciate your help. Please let me know if I can talk to you over a video consultation? Thanks!


Hi!Thanks for getting back to us, I would want to do a repeat ncct nose and pns and definitely would want to do a nasal endoscopy to see what is exactly reason behind the nasal obstruction that your facing persistently. For now, you can get an ncct nose and pns done and do send us the films along with the report. In addition, i would also advice you to get another opinion from another ent surgeon around in your area who can give an unbiased opinion regarding the possibile csuse of the nasal obstruction. You can certainly take a video consult from me directly (through google) or through the app. Once i get to see your ct scans i will be in a better position to answer if this will require a repeat surgery or not. Warm regards

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