Can Fascia or Acellular Dermis in Rhinoplasty Cause Infection ?

Doctor Answers 8

Infections can occur whether implant material is used or not

As with any surgical procedure, infections are some of the most common complications experienced by patients.  While this is true, the overall infection rate for most cosmetic procedure is very low.  However, infection rates tend to be slightly higher when foreign material is implanted.  While it is possible for the implanted material to have harbored an infectious agent that caused an infection after its placement within the body, what is more likely is that the implant material acts as a "safe harbor" on which bacteria can hide from the body's immune system, preventing the body from clearing the infection easily.  Of all implanted materials, fascia or acellular dermis (alloderm) will integrate into the body much better than other materials (i.e. silastic, goretex, medpor), and therefore infections in the presence of these materials often respond to antibiotics.  Remember, and regardless of the presence or absence of implanted material infections can sometimes occur, and usually resolve with antibiotics but sometimes requires removal of an implant.

Los Altos Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Can Fascia or Acellular Dermis in Rhinoplasty Cause Infection ?

Hello and thank you for the question.

In short, the answer is yes.  Any foreign body placed in the nose including fascia and acellular dermis can cause infection.  As my colleague suggested, following adequate integration of the fascia or dermis into the soft-tissue, the chance of infection is decreased, although never approaches zero.

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Fascia or Acellular Dermis does not cause infection.

The use of fascia or acellular dermis in a rhinoplasty procedure does not cause an infection.  The rhinoplasty procedure has a very low rate of infection but because of the possible contamination around the nose, any outside tissue or implant might allow for the contamination to turn into an infection.  Even with this possibility the rate of infection is still very low.  If you need the graft material I would not be afraid to use it.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Implants including acellular dermis can result in infection after rhinoplasty

Any foreign material used in rhinoplasty can increase the risk of infection. Acellular dermal substitutes, such as Alloderm, are no exception. After tissue in-growth in the dermal implant, the infection profile is much lower than some other nasal implant material.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Concerns about fascia and Alloderm causing infections in rhinoplasty surgery

Any surgical procedure has an attendant risk for infection - some are extremely low whereas others have a substantial risk. When a foreign body such as fascia or acellular dermis is part of the procedure, this does add some risk though it is generally very low when proper antiseptic precautions are taken. Although the usage of fascia or Alloderm can cause an infection when used during a rhinoplasty procedure, the risk is fairly low.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Foreign Bodies and Infection Risk

All surgery carries with it a risk of infection.  Some types of surgery are much higher risk than others and the overall health of the patient has a large impact as well.  Facial surgery and rhinoplasty in general have a very low rate of infection because of the excellent blood supply to facial tissues and the strong presence of our immune system in that part of the body.

However, when a foreign material is used, the risk of infection goes up substantially.  Foreign materials are not living and have no blood supply or ability to accommodate our immune system.  They serve as "hiding places" for bacteria.  If an infection occurs after a foreign material is placed, rarely will anything but removal of the foreign material eliminate the infection.  Even something as tiny as a nylon suture can be the problem.  Furthermore, these infections can come and go with antibiotics, but because a few  bacteria survive in hiding places on the foreign body, a short time after antibiotics are stopped, perhaps days or weeks, the infection returns.

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Can fascia or Alloderm used in Rhinoplasty cause an infection.

 Yes, any tissue (fascia) or foreign material (alloderm) can trigger an infection in Rhinoplasty or any other application where they are used.  You should see your Rhinoplasty surgeon and have your nose evaluated if your are concerned that this material is infected after your Rhinoplasty.

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

Yes, any implant is an infection risk!

While the risk of an acellular dermis graft getting infected is small, if it happens in you it is 100%! If you have concerns discuss these in depth with your surgeon, as any foreign body has the potential for infection.

good luck!

Catherine Winslow, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 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.