Is It Absolutely Necessary to Remove Piercings Before Rhinoplasty?

I have a cartilage piercing that is still healing and I'm advised not to remove for a year. I am looking to get rhinoplasty in the next five months or so. Will my surgeon refuse to go through with the surgery? Or will I need to get it removed? What could go wrong if I keep it in?

Doctor Answers 15

Piercing must be removed before Rhinoplasty

You must remove your piercing before rhinoplasty as it may cause severe burns when the surgeon uses the cautery. It can also act as a foreign body leading to the development of infections.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Piercings and rhinoplasty

I would strongly suggest removing all nasal piercings prior to rhinoplasty. I would pose the question to you. Why would you want to risk having a less than perfect result with all of the expense and discomfort of having your nose fixed for a piercing that can be replaced if you choose to do so? Either wait for the piercing site to heal and have your rhinoplasty or have your nose repierced at a later date.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Removal of nose piercing prior to nose surgery is necessary

It is important to remove the nasal piercing prior to undergoing elective cosmetic nasal surgery for fear of infection, staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria through the piercing into the nasal tissues. Removing the piercings really depends on whether or not any lower lateral cartilage tip surgery is being performed on the nose or just a hump removal. If no tip surgery is being performed it probably does not matter about the piercing. The piercing would need to be removed just for the day or two after the surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Nasal piercing should be removed before Rhinoplasty

Most nasal piercings do not go through the cartilage, but through the surrounding soft tissue. They must be removed during the operation because electo-cautery is is to control bleeding during surgery. However, they can be replaced immediately after the procedure.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Piercings should be removed before Rhinoplasty

Piercings should be removed before surgery when cautery is being used, and cautery is necessary during a rhinoplasty. Cautery can cause a burn at the site where any metal is touching skin. Your piercing should be able to be removed after your anesthesia is induced, and replaced before you wake up. That way you are protected, and your piercing is removed for only a short time.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Piercings and rhinoplasty


You do need to remove any metal from your body prior to surgery, as some of our instruments can potentially cause burns if there is metal on the skin. Your piercings can probably be replaced immediately after surgery, so they should not be out for more than 2 hours or so. If you really cannot remove them, I would advise waiting on your nose until you can.

Good luck,


Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Removing piercings before rhinoplasty


Before any surgery, piercings must be removed in order to ensure the safety of the patient. It is very unlikely your surgeon will go through with the procedure if piercings are present. Thank you and best of luck to you.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Piercings should be removed before Rhinoplasty

I never recommend having the nasal cartilage pierced. If patients request a rhinoplasty and have their nasal cartilage pierced, I insist that the pierce material (metal or otherwise), be removed prior to surgery and remain removed for at least several months. Again, I never recommend that the nose be pierced or repierced. Following a rhinoplasty, I advised people to refrain from repiercing their nose. I have seen disastrous complications from piercing of the nose including significant scarring, infection of the cartilage, skin and structural deformities.

Sigmund L. Sattenspiel, MD
Freehold Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty and piercings

Piercings should be removed before rhinoplasty. They will most likely get in the way of the surgical procedure and could be a source of infection.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Piercings should be removed before Rhinoplasty

YES! In rhinoplasties, electrical equipment can and will be used. So if metal is touching your skin (in nose or other areas) you could be burned. Why take the chance to ruin your future great result? Be careful out there. Regards.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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.