Is It Safe to Have Rhinoplasty when You Have the Beginning Signs of a Cold?

I am worried I am compromising my safety by having surgery tomorrow with some mild cold symptoms. -I have a slight temperature 99.6-100 it varies. -My nose is a little raw. -My throat is not sore, but it is slightly raspy. -I am loosing a $500 deposit:( Could somebody help me out?

Doctor Answers 9

Postpone surgery

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If it is truly a very mild viral cold, you might be the lucky and have a successful rhinoplasty without problems. On the other hand, if this “beginning” of a cold develops into a more serious upper and lower respiratory infection with sinusitis, bronchitis and even pneumonia, surgery and anesthesia will compound your problems both systemically and locally regarding the surgery of the nose. When there is doubt, it is wise to postpone the surgery until you are well. An ethical surgeon will understand and you should not lose your deposit.

Undergoing rhinoplasty when you have a cold

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The temperature of 99 to 100° is a normal and safe variation of body temperature. Mild cold symptoms are not a contraindication for having rhinoplasty. As long as you do not have bronchitis, pneumonia or feeling horrible, it is acceptable to proceed with rhinoplasty.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Cold before Rhinoplasty

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When in doubt, it is best  not to do surgery when somebody has a "cold". I don't know any surgeons who would ask a patient to forfeit their deposit when surgery is cancelled because of illness.

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

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Delay your Operation

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The vast majority of "colds" are viral and not bacterial in nature. Nonetheless, operating on a patient with a cold increases the likelihood of infections and bad outcomes.

Explain your situation to the surgeon. An ethical surgeon, while disappointed would be reasonable in how they deal with you at this time. If they do not - well you were just given a glimpse into what your post-surgical experience may really be like and you better decide if to entrust yourself to that surgeon.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty when you are having a cold can increase your risk of complications

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Rhinoplasty when you are having a cold can increase your risk of complications.  There are always variables though that can increase or decrease this relative risk.  But with a cold, you can be more likely to have a cough after the procedure that could increase your risk of causing bleeding after your procedure.  Also if you are getting general anesthesia, the cold can increase your risk of having airway issues such as laryngospasm.  Most anesthesiologists will cancel a case if the person has a significant cold and with fever.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Catching a cold before rhinoplasty

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The answer is: maybe. If a patient is running a fever (>101°F), has chest congestion, or has sinusitis, it's probably best to delay surgery. Sinusitis--at least in theory--could infect the nasal soft tissues (though I've never seen or heard of this). Congestion or fever post-op could be mistakenly attributed to congestion and fever pre-op, and thus a more serious complication could be missed.

It's best that the surgeon and the anesthesiologist evaluate the patient under such circumstances to see whether it's reasonable to proceed.

All the best,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Illness and surgery

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If you are developing a cold, I would recommend putting off your surgery until you are better.  This should be discussed with yoru doctor.

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

Let your surgeon know that you have a cold since he may want to examine you or reschedule your surgery.

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I ask my patients to let me know if they get a cold before proceeding with Rhinoplasty Surgery. I feel it's best to operate on your nose when there is no infection or congestion. This may just be nasal allergy which can often be treated before your surgery. You should visit your surgeon for an examination and specific advice.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Complete your rhinoplasty when you are healthy

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If you are beginning a illness and running a temperature it only make sense to delay your rhinoplasty until you are feeling well. Explain your situation to your surgeon and decide on an alternate date. Best practice would dictate that elective surgery be performed on only healthy patients, and it would be hard to imagine that your deposit would be in jeopardy.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.