Recurrent Infection from Nose Implant After Revision Rhinoplasty

Hello, I'm 23, female and just had revision rhinoplasty last May to remove my silicone implant due to infection. It was replaced with my ear cartilage. I was told by my new surgeon that removing the implant was the only way to get rid of the infection but still the infection came back. Three weeks after the surgery the infection is back together with a hole exposing some cartilage and oozing pus.

Is there a way to get rid of the infection, and will it involve removing the ear cartilage since I've already had 3 surgeries and don't want another.

Doctor Answers 5

Probably the ear cartilage needs to be removed

 A cartilage grat from the ear, placed in an infected bed that becomes infected and exposed itself needs to be removed in most all circumstances.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Silicone Nasal Implant Infections

I would recommend starting antibiotics and removing the ear cartilage graft.  There are also instances were surgeons will leave part of the silicone graft.  If this is the case, this portion of the implant will also have to be removed.  Once the infection is completely resolved, a rib graft may be needed.

Daniel Reichner, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Silicone nasal implants and infection

Most of the time when a nasal implant becomes infected it will need to be removed. Not always however, but usually. After the implant has been removed and several months have gone by to allow for complete resolution of the infection and the damaged tissues to heal and mature, then the nose can be reconstructed. If you try to hurry along the process, you increase the chance of another complication like further infection.

Oakley Smith, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Infection after Silicone Nasal Implant

I'm sorry to hear about your problem, but this is one of the potential complications with silicone implants. Your first priority should be to eliminate the infection, which may necessitate removal of the cartilage grafts. Don't worry about reconstruction until the infection is eliminated.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Need an infectious disease doctor's help


Putting an implant in the nose is almost never a good idea doe to high risk of infection and shifting and extrusion.

Removing an infected implant that does not response to antibiotics is the right thing to do - which was done.

Replacing the implant with natural cartilage is also fine. This is to prevent skin shrinkage if the placement of the cartilage was delayed.

But now it sounds like you did not have the proper antibiotic treatment. Simply removing an infected implant does not clear the bacteria. Antibiotics should have been used for some time before and after the surgery. (Not sure if you had that or not).

With the severity of your infection (i.e. pus and fistula hole), you need to be seen by an infectious disease doctor and get cultured and started on high dose antibiotics. Perhaps even I.V. antibiotics if it is as severe as you describe it.

With the proper treatment, your cartilage should be salvagable and you may be able to leave it alone. See your doctor today!

Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 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.