How to Fix a Runny Nose After Rhinoplasty?

I had rhinoplasty about 7-8 years ago (when I was 15-16yr old). My nose has been runny ever since. It was not runny before the surgery. I read that this could happen for a few months after, but I did not think it would be years! I was hopeful that it would go away eventually, but it looks as though I am stuck. Why is this happening?Is there any way to fix my continuously runny nose without a revision or any more surgery? I am forever wiping it and always need to carry tissues whever i go.PlzHelp

Doctor Answers 7

Runny nose after rhinoplasty

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Dear Runnynose,

I am sorry to hear that you are having such a problem with your nose.  You are correct that it is not uncommon to have a runny nose after surgery, but this usually resolves as it heals.  Sometimes however, the trauma of the surgery can cause a condition called vasomotor rhinitis.  This is a condition whose hallmark is clear watery discharge from the nose that is worse during eating or being in the cold.  If you have vasomotor rhinitis there is a nasal spray that can help dry up your problem and it is called ipatroprium bromide spray.  It is available by prescription and you should see a physician to be evaluated and to make sure that this is not a more serious issue such as a cerebrospinal fluid leak; which is very serious. 

I would see your doctor to have this evaluated further and to rule out any more serious conditions. 

Good luck. 

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon

A runny nose is not uncommon for several months after rhinoplasty surgery

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A runny nose is not uncommon for several months after rhinoplasty surgery; however, it is uncommon for this condition to last several years.  While further surgery is unlikely to improve this problem, there are nasal sprays (i.e. Atropine) which may help. 

Ask if your surgeon or primary care doctor would be willing to write a prescription for you to try.

Runny nose

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Stuffiness, runny nose are all common after rhinoplasty in the first few months. a problem that has lasted this long is not due to initial surgery. Allergic or vasomotor rhinitis are the most common problems and easily managed. See your ENT specialist.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Runny Nose after Rhinoplasty

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A runny nose is expected and normal immediately after rhinoplasty. Eventually, the runny nose or post nasal drip resolve over the next few weeks after the plastic surgery. Longer term nasal symptoms should be evaluated by a nasal allergy specialist, such as an otolaryngologist or allergist. Treatment may be as simple as saline nasal rinses or an antihistamine tablet. Additionally, reducing exposure to airborne irritants may help too. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can he/she help determine appropriate options for you.

Dr. Chaboki


Years of runny nose not normal after Rhinoplasty

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I've performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and runny noses are not uncommon after Rhinoplasty for a few months. The runny nose is most likely due to the nasal mucosa reacting to incisions and surgical trauma. A runny nose that's lasted 7 years is not normal or typical and IMHO, should not be attributed to your Rhinoplasty. You may consider seeing an allergist or ear/nose/throat surgeon for nasal exam and workup.

Chronic runny nose after rhinoplasty

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Dear rhinoplasty patient,
There are two scenarios here. Either you developed allergic rhinitis when you were teenager and continues to be symptomatic. Or you may suffer from vasomotor rhinitis or non-allergic rhinitis as result of changes to your nose after your rhinoplasty. Vasomotor rhinitis involves chronic sneezing or having a congested, drippy nose with no apparent cause. The symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are similar to those of hay fever (allergic rhinitis), but there's no allergic reaction involved. Non-allergic rhinitis can affect children and adults, but is more common after teen years. You may want to consult with an ENT/Facial plastic surgeon for a thorough evaluation. Good luck. Dr. Kevin Sadati

Turbinectomy and airway obstruction can cause a chronic runny nose

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If your turbinates (which warm and humidify the air) were removed or greatly reduced at your last surgery, you can get a constant runny nose.  More common than that (besides allergies--I assume that you have been checked and tested) are: airway obstruction, which misdirects the airstream, dries the lining, and makes the nose run; and constant nose-blowing , which many patients have to do because their airways are small.

See an experienced surgeon who can evaluate your septum, valves, and turbinates.  Good luck.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon

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.