Weird Smell In My Nose 6 Weeks Post-Op, Could This Be Infection?

hi im about 6 weeks post op from a rhinoplasty. when i go to clean my nose i can smell this weird scent in my nose. its like im smelling my own nose. could this scent in my nose be an infection?

Doctor Answers 9

Smell after Rhinoplasty

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Surgery on the outside or inside of your nose disrupts the normal movement of mucous to the back of your nose and throat.  As a result, mucous takes longer to clear and can dry up causing some individuals to have an odd smell as a result.  Packing left behind in the nose inadvertently can lead to infection which can also smell in which case see your surgeon soon.  Frequent saline use or saline irrigation use can help clear the odor from mucous accumulation.  Most patients with this issue have a clearance of the smell within 2-3 months by which time the normal mucociliary clearance of your nose is back to work. 

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Possibly, go back to see your surgeon ASAP

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This could be a sign of many things and you need to follow up with your surgeon asap for evaluation. 

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Weird smell from nose

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First, a few more details would be in order. Do you have any nasal implant that was used for dorsal augmentation?  It oculd be also a retained piece of packing or an infection. Either way you should go see your surgeon.

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

Weird smell in my nose 6 weeks after Rhinoplasty, could this be infection?

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  There shouldn't be any weird smells in your nose at any time after a Rhinoplasty.  Odd smells, redness and increasing pressure are all signs of possible infections after a Rhinoplasty and you should be seen by your Rhinoplasty surgeon ASAP for a nasal exam.  Having turbinate resection or modification, during a Rhinoplasty IMHO, can lead to internal tissue slough and inflammation similar to what you are describing. 

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Foul odor in nose 6 weeks following a rhinoplasty is abnormal

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An abnormal smell inside your nose several weeks following a rhinoplasty is not normal and usually represents a problem. This can include such issues as retained packing material, an open and non-healing area and infection. You should contact your surgeon and have him/her investigate further.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Unusual 'smell' in nose post op rhinoplasty

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It could be. The only way to find out for sure is to have your surgeon examine you. If in doubt about anything, always consult with your surgeon. Best wishes, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Abnormal scent after rhinoplasty

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Hello ~

You may be describing either an infective process, or as my colleagues mentioned, a foreign body, such as packing, that may have been left behind after surgery. Either way, it warrents an further investigation. Follow up with your plastic surgeon as soon as you can.

Best ~

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nasal surgery smell

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You need to go back in and see your surgeon. My first thought was packing or a piece of gelfoam that was left inside.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


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Yes what you smell well could be an infection. You need to return to your doctor and have him check for that and for the possability that a small piece of packing was left behind

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.