Does carrying staph in your nose increase the risk of a staph infection after rhinoplasty?

I have a small cut on the tip of my nose that won't heal, and occasionally becomes irritated. My dermatologist swabbed my nasal cavity to test for staph, and it came back positive. I finished a round of antibiotics, as well as treated it with an ointment. I had planned on getting rhinoplasty this fall, but am concerned because of the staph already in my nose. I'm not sure if this is a legitimate concern.

Doctor Answers 3

What if a nose has ‘staph’ bacteria? Is rhinoplasty still an option?

Most people will carry some staph bacteria at some time in their lives: perhaps 20% are persistent carriers.  While the risk of infection could occur following any surgery including nasal surgery, the risks appear low.  With the use of preoperative antibiotics, use of intranasal antibiotic ointment (Mupirocin) and the rich blood supply of the nose, there would not be a contraindication to having nasal surgery.  But discuss with your surgeon. 


Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Infection after rhinoplasty

Most of us are colonized with Staph and other bacteria in the nose. The question is if the culture obtained is your normal nasal flora or if it is a clinically pathologic organism. Another important piece of information would be to find out if it is resistant Staph called MRSA. Either scenario, though, does not categorically exclude you from being a candidate for rhinoplasty if your nose and cut heal properly by the time you plan to undergo the surgery. Most surgeons give oral antibiotic prophylaxis after surgery in addition to antibiotic ointment, and it is important to communicate your nasal infection history with your surgeon for appropriate antibiotic coverage during and after your surgery. Some surgeons (including myself) also ask select patients to place antibiotic soaks into the nostrils periodically after surgery to minimize the risk of infection. Best wishes!

Thomas J. Walker, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Staph

You have asked a very good question.  The real question is whether the Staph in your nose is resistent to medication treatment.  The is something we call MRSA .  
Everyone has staph in their nose so a simple culture does not rule out a Rhinoplasty procedure.  It sounds as if you are being  appropriately treated and if the small cut heals normally then I do not see any contraindication to surgery of your nose.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 14 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.