Cocaine and closed Rhinoplasty. Any suggestions?

I have booked to get closed rhinoplasty done in September (3 months ago) I tend to take cocaine every weekend and have done for approximately 6 months. They advise that you should be totally clear from cocaine for 6 months prior to the operation but I don't want to wait another 3 months! I have totally given up using cocaine now and will continue to do this. I hope my surgery can still go ahead but I don't want to ask my surgeon incase he delays my surgery!

Doctor Answers 9

Cocaine and Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for being honest in this public forum.  What you now need to do is to be honest with your surgeon in private. We surgeons do not judge our patients. But please be very clear on this:  what you do not tell your surgeon can cause you great harm.  For example, drug use can influence how you react to the anesthesia.  Imagine if you were unconscious and had no way to suddenly "confess" what drugs you might be taking. You wouldn't have supplied any information to the surgeon or anesthesiologist -- so how could they know the antidote to a reaction you might have?  Cocaine use can damage certain substructures, and your surgeon might be planning certain maneuvers to give you the result you want. Would you want to have a sub-par result because your surgeon doesn't know on the frontside what shape your nose tissues might be in?  So please, be honest. Waiting longer for a surgery is nothing compared to problems during anesthesia or a sub-par result due to your being dishonest.  One last thing:  if you feel you do not trust your surgeon enough to be honest, please find someone you can tell the truth, for you own safety.

Rhinoplasty and cocaine

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The biggest concern with cocaine use is damage to the nasal septum.  If you're not having septoplasty and you surgeon will not use any cartilage from the nasal septum then you can proceed with a closed rhinoplasty.


Dr. J

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Rhinoplasty and cocaine

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If you have used cocaine recently you should let your surgeon know. Cocaine before surgery can cause major healing problems after surgery. After surgery it can also cause problems with perforations and scaring. You need to discuss with your surgeon so he or she can decide if they feel comfortable with keeping the date. In the end, the decision will be based on your best interests and health. 

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Ask your surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
First and foremost, you should never keep anything from your doctor. If he or she wants to delay it, it is because they want to prevent you from having a terrible complication. So my advice is that you listen to them and obviously stop doing cocaine, as it will eventually eat up and destroy your nose. 

Marcelo Ghersi, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Cocaine and closed Rhinoplasty. Any suggestions?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It's best for you to be honest with your surgeon.  It's for your own good that you should be off cocaine for a prolonged period of time.  The inconvenience that you may experience now having to wait longer is miniscule compared to the complications in rhinoplasty or any nasal surgery that can occur from cocaine use.  Best wishes.

A. Joshua Zimm, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Stop cocaine

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Recreational cocaine can destroy your nose and ruin the result of surgery and cause many problems. You need to be off the drug before surgery and stay off of it.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Cocaine and Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Cocaine can cause a lot of problems and even has caused complete collapse in some patients as the septum gets injured by the cocaine use.  Be honest with your surgeon.

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

Cocaine and honesty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is best to be honest with your surgeon. Cocaine interferes with the blood supply to the nasal tissues which will impact how you heal and your final result. It is for your own good!

John B. Lazor, MD, MBA, FACS
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sniffing cocaine may lead to midline nasal destructive disorder, and complicate your rhinoplasty result.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
There are too many reasons to avoid cocaine, but specifically, cocaine and rhinoplasty are a terrible combination. In our practice, recreational cocaine use is a deal breaker, and precludes performance of rhinoplasty.

Cocaine is a vasoconstrictor that may lead to nasal destruction whether you have rhinoplasty or not. Cocaine users are more likely to have surgical complications related to poor blood supply. Cocaine is also toxic for your nose after surgery.

Thank you for this important question.

Dr Joseph

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.