I was wondering, is there a loss of smell after Rhinoplasty? If so, for how long? Also, can a turbinate be caused by surgery?
Loss of Smell After Rhinoplasty?
Doctor Answers (3)
Loss of smell is temporary
There is a temporary loss of smell from the rhinoplasty due to the swelling that is present on the nasal passageways. Patients are physically unable to get airflow through their nose, especially if they had a septoplasty done at the same time. Turbinate surgery is also sometimes performed to improve the airflow dynamics through the nose.
Sense of smell after rhinoplasty
Temporary loss of smell and sometimes an associated diminished taste sensation after rhinoplasty is not unusual and tends to improve over 3-6 weeks.
More permanent causes can occur but are rare.
Turbinates occur naturally and are not caused by surgery but can be treated by them
Loss of smell with rhinoplasty
It is possible but rare. It is very important to differentiate complete loss of smell or decreased smell. Complete loss can be permanent and could be related to injury to the smell nerve (Olfactory nerve) during surgery. You should see an Otolaryngologist for smell test. You can also look up a smell and taste center near you.
If smell is decreased, it is likely temporary from nasal congestion which is common after rhinoplasty and will get better with time.
Turbinates can become swollen after a rhinoplasty but it should be transient. If your congestion does not improve a month after the rhinoplasty, it could be a permanent problem which might require nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines and in some cases surgery.