Permanent Suture and Metal Plates in my Nose Causing Irritation?

In order to safeguard the stability of my nose, a permanent suture and two tiny metal plates were used to hold my nasal septum in place. This procedure took place during my fourth and latest rhinoplasty which is now 5 years ago, after which I have had recurring nasal swelling problems. I asked my question as a way for me to find out if I can eliminate "the permanent suture + metal plates" from the list of "suspects" behind my nasal dilemma. Thanks ever so much for your informed help!!


Doctor Answers 11

The swelling that you have is probably not caused by either

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Metal plates are usually removed after a few weeks. The permanent sutured would only cause a "pimple" if it was coming out. You should consult with a Revision Rhinoplasty specialist, especially since you have had so many surgeries. Many surgeons may say they are, but I'm sure you have found out the hard way that they are not.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Maxillofacial CT scan to evaluate intermittent nasal edema

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It may be a good idea to get a CT scan of your nose and facial bones.  This will be the least invasive way to get an idea of what may be the etiology of your nasal swelling and irritation.  

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Permanent Suture and Metal Plates in my Nose Causing Irritation?

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These plates may have been used to keep the bone grafts in place if you had to septum to support them. Recommend continuing follow up visit to your surgeon.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Permanent sutures and metal plates in the nose.

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Permanent sutures are common with Rhinoplasty. Metal plates are rare. It could be a metal screw but this would be out under the skin of your cheek. Ask you last surgeon or get an xray. It most likely just a suture which can be removed if needed.

Metal nasal implants likely Mitek anchors

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Dear Nordic - I would echo the sentiment of my colleagues. However, my suspicion is that you have a Mitek anchor or metal screw in your face with a permanent suture passing into the nose from the cheek to hold the nasal airway open. These are used relatively infrequently and infection around the suture or anchor is not uncommon. Best of luck.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Metal can irritate the nose

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There are many surgeons who use nasal stents after certain procedures for a limited time. Silastic sheeting may be placed in the nose temporarily to help keep the nose straight.  The risk of leaving something in the nose for a long time is irritation, movement and extrusion.  Consult with the original surgeon.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Irritation from sutures and metal plates

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It is possible that the sutures and metal plates that have been left in your septum may be causing the irritation and drainage. At this time, you should return to the surgeon to perform the surgery and ask if the metal plates can be taken out safely as well as the suture. The removal of these devices should help resolve the irritation and possible infection.

Recurrent swelling with foreign material in place may signal an infection

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It is unusual, but not unheard of, for permanent sutures and metal plates to be placed during rhinoplasty. I suspect that you may have a serious issue with your nose if metal plates were required. If you are continuing to have problems with the plates, it may mean that you have a subclinical infection occurring. You should go back to your plastic surgeon for an evaluation; you may need some sort of imaging procedure such as a CT-scan of your nose and facial bones. If the plates are indeed infected, they should be removed and you should be reconstructed with your own tissues. This may require rib grafting.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Metal plates and sutures from Rhinoplasty

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It is unusual for patients to have metal plates in their nose after rhinoplasty. A permanent suture is more common. If these are causing irritation then they can be removed.

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

Advanced Rhinoplasty and Secondary Rhinoplasty

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I see patients with foreign bodies in their nose after secondary or tertiary rhinoplasty.  These foreign bodies can often cause a reaction and should be evaluated closely to see if they are potentially causing more harm in the long term. I perform rib grafts on the nose for these advanced cases.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.