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Concerned I Have an Infection 2 Months Following Rhinoplasty?

I had an open rhinoplasty 2 months ago. I had a columellar strut put in using cartilage from my septum. I have been experiencing headaches, congestion and a foul odor coming from one nostril. Could this be an infection of the columellar strut put in? I have read a lot about artificial implants getting infected and having to be removed but could this be the case with a cartilage graft from my septum? thanks

Doctor Answers (4)

Possible Infection 2 Months After Rhinoplasty


Dear Leo,

An autologous cartilage graft should not cause an infection but synthetic grafts would but at a very low percentage. However, what is interesting is that you are at 2 months post-surgery and the rate of infection due to the rhinoplasty should be almost none.

That being said, the foul smell could be a result of an infection due to a possible sinus infection or other unrelated causes to your surgery.

Inflammation is often detected by swelling, tenderness and redness depending on how advanced the inflammation is.

I recommend that consult with your surgeon so your nose be examined and the cause of what you have experiencing be detected.

I hope this helps.

Thank you of your inquiry.

Best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Web reference:

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

A foul smell is a bad sign.


A foul smell is often a sign of infection. Your collumellar graft may have gotten infected especially if your having some tenderness or purulent discharge in the area. If not, then maybe you just picked up a sinus infection. Either way you need to be seen, evaluated, and treated. 

Nyack Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews



Infections after rhinoplasty are always possible, so please see your surgeon immediately and allow him to take a good history and physical.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Nose infections


A cartilage graft will not get infected at 2 months after surgery.  They can re-absorb, that is, disappear, but this does not involve odor or discharge.

Artificial implants can get infected at any time (about 3% of them).  This would include non-dissoving stitches.

You should check with your surgeon and have your nose looked at.  There are other causes of a foul odor/discharge from the nose that might not be related to your surgery.

Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.