Can Wearing Glasses or Bacterial Pink Eye Cause This Swelling of my Nasal Implant 7 Months After Rhinoplasty?

Asian rhino 7 months ago w/ a goretex implant & ear cartilage for tip. I caught a cold & pink eye last week. I switched from my contacts to glasses. I woke up on the 3rd day to find the area of my nose where the implant is, to be swollen, pain & pink. The tip isn’t swollen. This spurted overnight basically. My PS prescribed Levaquin. It's been a day & no improvement. Is it possible the weight of my glasses caused trauma to the implant or the bacteria from my pink eye caused this (infection?)Help

Doctor Answers 11

Swelling and pain of your nasal bridge after Rhinoplasty Surgery with GoreTex is suspicious for infection.

Approximately 5% of GoreTex (ePTFE) masal implants will become infected after they are used for nasal reconstruction. 24 hours may be too soon to see improvement after starting Levaquin, but if you're not moving in the right direction by the time you read this, you should follow up with your surgeon as soon as possible for further evaluation and management.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Regards from NJ.

West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Gore tex nasal implants can get infected

I used Gore tex for nasal implants quite a bit back in the early 90's and even wrote a scientific paper about their use in Rhinoplasty.  About 7 years after that point, these implants appeared to get infected for no reason and I quit using them.  You may never know the cause and it;s more important to get the implant out and repolace it with a silastic one once the infection is gone.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Infection of the skin (i.e., cellulitis) or of the soft tissue around your nasal implant

It certainly does sound like you have an infection of the skin, otherwise known as cellulitis, or of the soft tissue around your nasal implant.  This may well have come from the bacteria associated with your “pink eye”. 

Certainly, early and aggressive antibiotic treatment for this problem is a very good choice.

Michael R. Macdonald, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Infection after nasal implant

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine yet what will occur.  Gortex can become infected even years later after implantation for a variety of reasons.  Autologous (your own tissue) materials are the only implants that will not ever become infected.  The pink eye, or mild nasal trauma can create problems in this area.  The smart thing to do for the moment is to see aggressive antibiotic care and ride out this window.  If everything settles back down and you experience no further problems after the next 2 weeks you are in the clear for now.  If this continues to worsen or returns multiple times over the next few months you may need a secondary procedure to remove the implant and then secondarily consider a rib graft as the best option for a long term dorsal result.  Good luck!  Dr. Shep

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Your own cartilage is the best chance for a lifetime result

This does seem like an infection, and the recent conjunctivitis is probably the cause. If your infection does not PROMPTLY and completely resolve, the implant must be removed.  This is why I never use alloplastics (artificial implants).

After you have healed, find an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who can reconstruct your nose with your own cartilage.  This is your best chance of a permanent result and is worth it.  Make sure that you like the surgeon and that he/she can show you results that you like of patients with similar problems.

Good luck.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Glasses causeing swelling

It is possible that pressure from the glasses caused an irritation to the soft tissue surrounding the gortex. Levaquin is a good choice of antibiotic, but it needs more than  one day to work. Another option would be a short dose of cortisone medication to reduce inflammation.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Infected Gor-Tex Nasal Implant


You may never know what caused the infection, but make sure that you stay in very close contact with your rhinoplasty surgeon.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Can Wearing Glasses or Bacterial Pink Eye Cause This Swelling of my Nasal Implant 7 Months After Rhinoplasty?

This seems like an infection and should continue using the antibiotics until it clears. It takes several days for the antibiotic to work. Follow up with your surgeon. If it is skin infection, the implant may be saved otherwise it may have to be removed. Only time will tell.     Dr. Tavoussi

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Goretex can be a problem

Implants in the nose are a controversial issue.  I have personally seen multiple implants (Medpor, Gore-Tex, silicone, etc.) become problematic with infections, redness, pain, extrusion.  These complications can occur with or without an infection or trauma, so it is hard to say what caused your problem.  It is certainly possible the eye infection caused the problem, but hard to say for sure.  I am of the belief that nothing is a substitute for your own cartilage.  That said, there are risks to each technique.  Be sure to follow-up closely with your surgeon.

Colin Pero, MD

Colin Pero, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Infection after a nasal implant

Pink eye is a bacterial infection which is easily spread. The tissue around the eye is intimately and anatomically related tot he tissues of the nose, and it is quite likely that the infection has spread to the gortex nasal implant. The infections can be hard to clear and the implant can extrude once contaminated. Keep in close contact with your surgeon.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.