Analysis of Nasal Obstruction Patterns Following Reductive Rhinoplasty

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Cosmetic rhinoplasty has been linked to iatrogenic breathing disturbances using clinical tools. However, few studies have evaluated outcomes using validated, patient-centered instruments.


We aim to determine the incidence and severity of nasal obstruction following cosmetic rhinoplasty as measured by patient-centered, disease-specific instruments.


This is a retrospective review of adult patients who underwent cosmetic rhinoplasty at Stanford Hospital between January 2017 and January 2019. General demographic as well as Nasal Obstruction and Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) and the Standardized Cosmesis and Health Nasal Outcomes Survey (SCHNOS) questionnaire data were included. Scores were tracked across postoperative visits and compared to the preoperative state. Patients were subdivided into dorsal hump takedown, correction of the nasal tip, and both.


Of the 68 included patients, 56 were women, and the mean age was 30.6 years. Although mean SCHNOS and NOSE scores increased at the first postoperative interval, mean scores decreased on each subsequent visit. There were no significant increases in SCHNOS or NOSE scores for either dorsal hump takedown, tip correction, or both. There were only two patients who recorded NOSE scores higher than baseline at most recent postoperative visit.


Our results indicate reductive rhinoplasty is not associated with a greater risk of breathing obstruction when performed with modern airway preservation techniques. The initial increases in obstructive symptoms we observed on the first postoperative visit likely represent perioperative swelling given the improvement on follow-up visits. Both the NOSE and SCHNOS are patient-centered questionnaires capable of evaluating nasal obstruction following cosmetic rhinoplasty.

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Correspondence to Sam P. Most.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Okland, T.S., Kandathil, C., Sanan, A. et al. Analysis of Nasal Obstruction Patterns Following Reductive Rhinoplasty. Aesth Plast Surg 44, 122–128 (2020).

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  • Cosmetic rhinoplasty
  • Nasal obstruction
  • NOSE
  • Patient-reported outcome measures