Diagnosis before treatment.
It's important to establish the diagnosis first. If it's sinusitis, a simple flexible endoscopic exam in the office (ideally by someone with an ear, nose, and throat training) can help confirm the diagnosis as well as monitor its resolution.
Given the elective nature of rhinoplasty, it's really ideal to minimize avoidable risks by making sure you're happy and healthy pre-op. That's the only way to enhance the chances of being happy and healthy post-op.
All the best,
Ethical surgeons won't perform a nose job when infection may be present
Your basic viral cold does NOT last "weeks" - it lasts days. In my opinion you have another process going on that needs to be looked at BEFORE complicating matters with a surgery.
I seriously doubt that an ethical Plastic / ENT surgeon would operate on your nose with a possibility of a bacterial infection of the nose or adjacent sinuses is a real possibility.
I would postpone the operation and focus on fixing this problem before scheduling another date for the rhinoplasty.
Undergoing rhinoplasty with a cold should be decided by your surgeon
A routine head cold should not prevent a patient from undergoing a rhinoplasty surgery. It is probably best not to have the procedure performed if you have the flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia. A simple head cold will not preclude from undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure.
Avoid Rhinoplasty when upper respiratory illness is present
Rhinoplasty should be avoided in the presence of an upper respiratory illness. Complicating circumstances may develop including excessive bleeding, infection, sinusitis. Rhinoplasty is elective cosmetic surgery and should be performed under optimum health circumstances.
Over the years, I have experienced occasional cases where a patient would develop a cold (upper respiratory illness) one to two days postoperatively. Obviously, this viral respiratory illness was in the making at the time of surgery unbeknownst to me. Although I did not experience resulting complications, I would not recommend performing nasal surgery in the presence of a known respiratory illness.
Rhinoplasty surgery with a cold
If you are still symptomatic, you should have a work up before surgery to be sure that you do not have a sinus infection or other illness. If it is simply a cold, it should resolve itself in a short time frame, but a sinus infection can linger. Having surgery when you are sick can prolong the illness, the recovery, and can also put you at risk of getting even more sick due to a compromised immune status from the stress of surgery on top of your illness. You should see your doctor and have him or her examine you and advise.
Persistent infection may compromise Rhinoplasty healing
Why take any chances? A persistent infection may prolong and compromise healing after your surgery. The ultimate decision will rest in the hands of your physicians. Although it may be inconvenient, I would advise delaying this elective procedure.
Postpone Rhinoplasty if there are 2-3 weeks of cold symptoms
2-3 weeks of cold symptoms is probably indicative of a sinus infection unless proven otherwise. I would recommend postponing the surgery, and discussing this further with your surgeon. It may be that your primary care doctor or an ENT doctor may be able to help you get over this problem and steer you into clear waters before giving you the clearance to proceed safely with your rhinoplasty.
In any event, you definitely do not want to proceed in the setting of a bacterial sinus infection or risk a postoperative nasal infection that can hamper your healing and disrupt your result!
If you still have any symptoms from your cold, I would put off the surgery. The additional swelling and edema can affect the surgery results, but more importantly affect your airway which could impact your breathing.
Rhinoplasty Risks with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Sounds like you are ready for your surgery given the amount of time since the beginning of your "cold". Have your physician make sure that you do not have a bacterial sinus infection, and take a prophylactic antibiotic. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist can make the decision for you based on your physical exam.
Enjoy your new nose.
Let the surgeon doing the surgery decide
Usually, if the problem is clear mucus after this much time there should be no problem. However, if you have green or yellow mucus, then I would postpone the surgery.