Bad Smell,is It an Infection?

I got a nose job bout 3 weeks ago,past few days I noticed a smell frm my nose,is it infected? I still have the dissolvible stitches in my nose,is it the stitches&it's normal? Does it have anything to do with cigarette smoking? I'm thinking maybe it's just the stitches(I can feel the stitches cas they are right when u first enter my nose&it smells bad) but i want to make sure I'm not getting an infection

Doctor Answers 7

Smell in nose after Rhinoplasty

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I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and a smell, in the nose, after a Rhinoplasty is an infection until proven otherwise.  IMHO, you should go to the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty for an examination and evaluation.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Bad smell in nose

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A bad smell in the nose after rhinoplasty can certainly be from an infection and it is worthy to contact your surgeon and be evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Could Be Infection

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A bad odour can be a sign of infection, therefore you should see your surgeon if you have this concern. Dissolvable stitches can sometimes take months to dissolve, but it's best to ask your surgeon when you can expect for yours to dissolve.

3 weeks post-op & bad odor

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Dryness and crusting inside of the nose can also contribute to a bad odor - typically nasal saline irrigations will help with this but you should first be seen by your surgeon

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Bad smell after Rhinoplasty...

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Smoking is discouraged before any surgery because it can can slow down your healing process, but it generally will not cause a strange odor.  Sutures themselves do not cause an odor, but sometimes they can attract crust which can cause an odor.  Crusting is perfectly normal 3 weeks after rhinoplasty and can cause a strange odor up to two months after surgery.  Infection is rare in the nose, but I would call your surgeon to make an appointment so he can examine you and answer any questions you may have.


Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Bad Smell 3 Weeks after Rhinoplasty

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Cigarettes and sutures will not cause a bad smell in your nose 3 weeks after rhinoplasty, but an infection is unlikely. The odor is probably secondary to residual blood clots and mucus in nostrils swollen and congested after surgery. See your surgeon for an evaluation and appropriate treatment. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

A bad smell in your nose 3 weeks after Rhinoplasty Surgery could be from infection.

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I read your concern, and you should consult your surgeon as soon as possible. Absorbable sutures in your nose do not typically lead to a bad smell. The common causes of a bad aroma after Rhinoplasty Surgery are: 1) bacterial sinusitis, 2) internal nasal crusting that may need to be professionally removed, 3) remaining packing (foreign body) in your nose, or 4)normal examination.

A diagnostic nasal endoscopy in the office should determine the cause, and your physician may then implement treatment.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Regards from NJ.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 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.