What Could Be Causing Cheesy Pus Smell in Nostril After Rhinoplasty?

Had a rhino 1.5 months ago. 3 weeks ago, I started develop odd smell from just right nostril. When I rub finger inside tip and smell the clear discharge (not runny, just damp), smells like cheese-like pus. No pain or swelling. Surgeon couldn't find anything wrong. Went for second and third opinions from ENTs, nothing obvious. Got CT scan. Only thing was cloudy sinus cavity on LEFT side (smell is from right nostril), so probably not it. Took Levaquin, still smells. What can this be? Thx for help.

Doctor Answers 6

Smell in Nostril after rhinoplasty

Depending on how much intranasal work is done on your septum it is common to have some unusual symptoms after rhinoplasty.  When the airflow is altered you can have issues with worsening of nasal allergies, postnasal drip or even the sense of dripping out of the front of the nose.  The smell can either be a simple increase in drainage to your nose or sometimes the dissolvable sutures that are placed internally trap and hold mucous creating crusting in the nose like a scab.  If this is sitting in place long enough...then you can have some of this unpleasantness.  But it will all resolve!  So hang in there.  The best option in the short term to help yourself out is to go to your local CVS, Walgreen's etc. and pick up the Neil-Med Sinus Rinse bottle and begin a daily regimen of gentle irrigating to the inside of your nose.  It will work wonders for you and is the most natural way to cleanse the nose.

Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Malodor after rhinoplasty

Sounds like you have may have an infection, or at least have become colonized with bacteria that don't smell so nice.  Has anyone cultured it?  It may be prudent to have your surgeon take an intranasal culture of the odd smelling discharge.  This will at least direct the appropriate antibiotic treatment.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Cheesy Smell from Nose 1.5 Months After Rhinoplasty

Hi Paul,

Cheesy smell is never good unless you are having wine and cheese at the time.

You have some form of infection that is going undiagnosed.  See you rhinoplasty surgeon for re-evaluation.  Someone should also have a look inside your nose with an endoscope.  I would advise my patients to use Alkalol nasal rinses as well.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Cheesy smell after Rhinoplasty

I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and IMHO, any unusual smell in the nose after Rhinoplasty is an infection until proven otherwise.  Youi should see the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty for evaluation ASAP.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What Could Be Causing Cheesy Pus Smell in Nostril After Rhinoplasty?

One of the rare infection that needs to be ruled out is fungus infection. Your surgeon should be able to address this. Follow up regularly as scheduled.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

See your surgeon again

A bad odour can be a sign of infection, therefore you should see your surgeon again for another diagnosis. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 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.