Will Nasal Allergies Affect Rhinoplasty Surgery or Outcome?

I have nasal rhinitis. Will my allergies affect how my rhinoplasty surgery is performed or the results of my rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 21

Nasal allergies are not usually a factor in rhinoplasty

Nasal Allergies, whether seasonal or year-round, generally are not a big factor in rhinoplasty. If you experience nasal allergy symptoms, you should be thoroughly evaluated to see if there are any other factors that may exacerbate your breathing problems - such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates. If these problems are also present they should be addressed during your rhinoplasty.

If you also have sinus complaints such as pressure, pain, or infection, this should be investigated. It should be medically optimized since swelling after surgery can sometimes exacerbate sinus symptoms.

Rarely, a sinus procedure may be advised at the same time as your Rhinoplasty surgery, if necessary, though these are often staggered. Otherwise, we find that, in general, patients have a period of reprieve from their allergy symptoms following surgery. We do counsel our patients not to blow their nose for about 2 weeks after surgery and also to keep your mouth open if you have to sneeze.

Overall, there should be no reason why your allergies should affect your surgery.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Allergies and Rhinoplasty

The surgery technique will not be affected, but your allergies will persist after surgery and impact how well you can breathe.

Best to time the surgery when your allergies are under good control.

Some allergy medication can interact poorly with anesthetics.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Allergies must be well managed through anti-histamines...

Allergies must be well managed through anti-histamines or nasal sprays prior to surgery. This will reduce any prolonged internal nasal swelling from a combination of both surgery and allergies. If allergies are not under control it will prolong swelling and nasal obstruction in the post-operative phase of Rhinoplasty surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Nasal Allergies and Nasal Surgery

While nasal allergies will not affect the ultimate outcome of any nasal surgery (rhinoplasty and/or septoplasty), it may cause slightly more bleeding in the immediate post operative period.

Any condition, including nasal allergy, chronic or acute rhinosinusitis, or environmental nasal irritation (or nonallergic rhinitis) that creates inflammation in the nose increases bleeding during and after a procedure. This amount, however, is not enough to cause a significant increase in your risk or healing time.

On the other hand, untreated nasal allergies could affect the quality and amount of your functional breathing improvement after an otherwise successful nasal surgery. I often explain to my patients the difference between hard tissue and soft tissue problems.

  • Hard tissue referes to bone and cartilage, which can be surgically modified.
  • Soft tissue refers to the mucosa (skin of the nose) and swelling tissues on the inferior turbinates.

These tissues are the ones most affected by inflammatory conditions, such as nasal allergies. Inflammatory problems are best treated with medical therapies, such as nasal sprays or allergy pills.

In order to ensure your best functional outcome, treatment for your nasal allergy should be a part of your overall plan with your surgeon.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Nasal Allergies & Rhinoplasty

In general, unless one has functional nasal airway problems, nasal allergies are not improved or worsened by any cosmetic rhinoplasty. If there is a functional component to your nasal allergies then that is corrected sometimes and allergies may diminish over time.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Allergies and rhinoplasty

Allergies will have no effect on the result of the rhinoplasty except that during the post-op course you may be a bit more uncomfortable.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Allergic rhinitis and nose job

Depending on the extent of the allergic rhinitis, it could make your recovery more uncomfortable due to congestion as well an prolong the swelling. You should have this treated and management optimized prior to surgery to minimize the influence on surgery  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Rhinoplasty typically has no effect on allergies

Other than reducing the size of the turbines to help with breathing, rhinoplasty surgery typically has no effect on allergies, and in fact can exacerbate them for 6 to 18 months post procedure. This is not always the case, but certainly a risk of the procedure.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Rhinoplasty uninhibited by allergies

Nasal allergies cause swelling of the internal structure of the nose such as the internal skin and turbinates. Externally the nose is not affected.

Rhinoplasty is an operation that is performed on the external structures, therefore it can be done in-spite of the presence of nasal allergies.

  • Likewise, allergies will not alter the results of Rhinoplasty.

Ivan Thomas, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Allergies Not A Factor in Rhinoplasty

Nasal allergies are a nuisance and are present in over half of the patients on whom I perform rhinoplasty.  While they are a nuisance, the cosmetic result of the rhinoplasty will not be affected. You may be a bit more troubled with internal nasal swelling during the recovery than a non-allergic patient. 

If you have nasal airway obstruction as a result of your allergies, combining your rhinoplasty with a septoplasty or turbinate surgery may alleviate that obstruction.  Surgery can not, however, fix itching, sneezing, or watery nasal symptoms.

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.