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Rhinoplasty Complications

Rhinoplasty Complications

Rhinoplasty is a safe cosmetic procedure but there are some possible complications associated with it. These risks can be more pronounced in patients who have other health conditions or those who smoke cigarettes.

To name a few examples, there is a chance that the patient will experience sleep apnea after the procedure, as well as complications such as bleeding and infection of the incision site.

In this article, we discuss what you should do to reduce these risks so your surgery goes smoothly and without any major complications!

How to prepare for your rhinoplasty procedure?

Before scheduling your surgery, you will meet your surgeon and discuss your goals. You will also go over the risks associated with surgery and how to reduce them, as well as what you should do before your procedure. Make sure to ask any questions or voice any concerns that may have arisen from reading this article!

These are some of the documents you should bring with you to the consultation:

  • An up-to-date list of medications you are currently taking, including dosages and any allergies.
  • A copy of your insurance card or other documentation detailing your coverage for this procedure.
  • Some photographs of the result you are hoping to achieve.
  • A list of any previous surgeries you have had, including when and what they were for. This is important in order to avoid complications that may be associated with surgery on a scarred area or an already operated-on nose.

The most common complications during and after rhinoplasty surgery

Excessive Bleeding

Excessive bleeding can occur during the procedure due to a number of reasons, including a lack of blood clotting. If this happens, you may be given medication to prevent excessive bleeding or stop it completely.

Some of the things that can predispose you to heavy bleeding are taking aspirin and other blood thinners, having a history of heavy menstrual periods or taking birth control pills.

It is also important to tell your doctor if you have had nose bleeds before in order to be prepared for possible complications due to excessively sensitive nasal tissue.

bleeding after nose surgery


Swelling of the nose area after the surgery is very common. It will typically go down within a few days but might take up to two weeks for the swelling to completely disappear.


Infection around the area of the operation is rare and usually only occurs when there is a break in the skin.

If you develop redness, swelling, or discomfort around the area of your surgery it’s important to contact your doctor immediately who might prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent infection.

If you think that something has gone wrong with your rhinoplasty operation seek medical attention quickly because without treatment recovery can be difficult if not impossible.

Breathing difficulties

Breathing difficulties after a nose operation can be caused by swelling or scar tissue and can be relieved with a nasal decongestant.

If you notice that your nose is congested after surgery, use a saline spray to clear the water from your sinuses and avoid blowing your nose for 24 hours.

You might find it difficult to breathe through one side of your nose following rhinoplasty because cartilage has been removed during the operation; this will improve automatically over time as tissues heal but in the meantime, you may need to breathe out of both nostrils until one becomes less swollen than it’s counterpart.

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The nasal bones may not match perfectly due to scar tissue or swelling post-surgery affecting one side more than the other, which can lead to a crooked nose appearance that does not align with your natural features and makes it difficult for you to breathe comfortably through one nostril in particular.

Anticipate this complication if your surgeon plans on making significant changes involving bone structure (excessively narrowing the bony pyramid). It’s possible that there will be some asymmetry even after rhinoplasty surgery is successful.

Another type of temporary asymmetry could be that your nostrils will look uneven for a while. This condition is often due to swelling and will correct itself once it’s gone.


Rhinoplasty involves cutting into the nose and scarring is natural. Scars are generally not noticeable after healing, but they can cause complications in the short-term and long-term if left unaddressed.

Some of these complications include:

  • Smooth skin texture on one side of your nose that doesn’t match with the other side’s scarred appearance
  • Scabs forming over time around stitches or incisions (which will need to be removed periodically)
  • Itching from inflammation near scars which may lead to infection as a result of scratching excessively due to discomfort

Temporary numbness around the nose or mouth

Numbness in and around the nose area after a nose job is normal. It may last for a few days or up to one month and should go away on its own.

  • Avoid touching the area around your nose until it heals, as this will make you more sensitive in that region.
  • Stop overusing ice packs because they can cause further complications if used too much. They are best used sporadically when needed instead of constantly throughout the day.
  • Keep an eye out for any bleeding from gauze over your incision site – if you see blood seeping through bandages then change them immediately to avoid infection setting in near stitches or cuts which could lead to serious consequences down the road such as scarring or permanent numbness due to nerve damage.


Following rhinoplasty surgery, the skin might get discolored in the form of a bruise. Bruising is not uncommon and should go away on its own, but if it doesn’t then you might need to see your doctor about getting treatment for this issue.

patient bruised after surgery

Nasal dorsum deformity

The nasal dorsum is like an arch that runs from the bridge to the tip in front of your nose and it should be relatively symmetrical on both sides, but sometimes there will be asymmetries due to rhinoplasty gone wrong.

Choosing an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon should reduce these risks significantly.


The complications discussed above are an overview of some of the possible adverse outcomes of rhinoplasty. Most of the complications are relatively benign and are reversible through simple interventions.

Complications such as excessive bleeding, allergic reactions, pain, and increased sensitivity are often temporary and easily fixed.

However, others, such as scars, are more permanent and often irreversible.

Fortunately, most of the complications are avoidable if you get a well-qualified and skilled surgeon. Issues such as asymmetry, pinched tips, and noticeable grafts resulting from a poor nose job are avoidable. It is up to you to seek the best professionals available.

It’s also important to realize that even though the surgeon controls most aspects of the surgery, recovery is mainly the patient’s role.


How common are rhinoplasty complications?

Complications during or after rhinoplasty can happen but are not as common as you might think.

Most people who have rhinoplasty surgery are happy with the results and don’t usually experience complications, but that is because they choose a surgeon who has plenty of experience performing this type of operation.

If you want to reduce the risk for these types of problems then make sure your doctor specializes in nose surgeries.

Is rhinoplasty considered major surgery?

Rhinoplasty is major surgery, but there are many factors that determine how major it is.

The complexity of the surgery, whether or not you’re having reconstruction work done on your nose, and the experience level of the surgeon all contribute to what type of rhinoplasty surgery you’ll need.

What should I avoid after rhinoplasty?

After your nose surgery, you should avoid contact sports, blowing your nose too hard, and rubbing the area around your bridge where stitches might be.

Can you go blind from a nose job?

The chance of going blind after rhinoplasty is very slim.

The risks of complications are more likely to be in the form of infection and worsening breathing problems, such as a collapsed nose.

Sanjay Rai
Sanjay Rai

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