Rhinoplasty Infection Treatment Options?

One nostril more red and swollen than the other. Worried it is an infection. Seeing doc tomorrow. But what is the course of treatment for an infection?

Doctor Answers 4

Postoperative infection following rhinoplasty.

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Wound infections following rhinoplasty are uncommon.  In the majority of cases the causative bacteria is either staphylococcus or streptococcus.  They usually show up approximately 5 to 7 days following surgery and sometimes later.  Certain factors may predispose to postop wound infections such as the use of synthetic implants or decreased immunity which may be due to systemic conditions or the use of various drugs.  The majority of surgeons use antibiotics at the time of surgery and for a variable period of time afterwards in an effort to decrease the incidence of wound infection, however, their value has not been scientifically proven.

By examining your nose the surgeon will be able to determine if infection is a concern.  There may be other factors that are causing the differential redness.  If the surgeon suspects that there is an infection present then one or more courses of action are appropriate:

·         Incision and drainage.  Re-opening one of the incisions for a short distance and draining any trapped pus.

·         Culture and Sensitivity.  Attempting to identify what bacteria are responsible and what antibiotics are most appropriate.  This requires collecting a swab specimen of any drainage that can be produced and submitting for microbiologic testing which takes 2 to 3 days.

·         Antibiotic treatment.  Until the results of the culture and sensitivity are available, it is wise to start treatment right away with empiric antibiotics assuming that the infection is a staph or strep species.  Once the test results are available, the antibiotics can be changed if necessary.


Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC, FACS.


Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Red Rhinoplasty

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See your surgeon today, if possible.  If you do have an infection or even folliculitis (inflamed hair follicle), etc., the physician may culture the area and place you on antibiotics specific to your problem.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Treatment for Rhinoplasty Infection

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Your surgeon will examine you, culture the drainage if there is any present, and then  treat you with antibiotics. If there is an infection and you have been taking antibiotics post-operatively, the prescription will probably be changed because they have not been effective.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Treating Infection After Rhinoplasty

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Although uncommon, a bacterial infection after a rhinoplasty is treated with antibiotics.

When you will visit your surgeon, he/she will examine the area thoroughly, culture the drainage if available and have you on antibiotics.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your post.

The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 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.