Rhinoplasty (cont.)

What are the risks and complications?

This surgery, as any surgery, may involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals differ in their response to surgery, their anesthetic reactions, and their healing outcomes, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications.

The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. Although many of these complications are rare, all have occurred at one time or another in the hands of experienced surgeons practicing the standard of community care.

  1. Nasal obstruction due to failure to straighten the septum or later re-deviation of the septum, collapse of the nasal cartilage, or the re-growth or swelling of the turbinates.
  2. Failure to resolve coexisting sinus infections, or recurrence of coexisting sinus problems and/or polyps, or the need for further or more aggressive surgery.
  3. In rare situations, bleeding can lead to a need for blood products or a blood transfusion. Autologous (self-donated) or designated donor blood may be arranged in advance in case an emergency transfusion is necessary.
  4. Chronic nasal drainage or excessive dryness or crusting of the nose or sinuses.
  5. Need for allergy evaluation, treatments, or environmental controls. Surgery is not a cure for or a substitute for good allergy control or treatment.
  6. A cosmetic result that does not meet expectations; possible need for revision surgery.
  7. Failure to resolve associated "sinus or nasal" headaches. The exact cause of headaches can be difficult to determine or be from many different causes. A consultation with another specialist such as a neurologist may be necessary.
  8. Damage to the eye and associated structures (rare).
  9. Permanent numbness of the upper teeth, palate, or face.
  10. Prolonged pain, impaired healing, and the need for hospitalization.
  11. Septal perforation (a permanent hole inside the nose between the two sides).
  12. Failure to restore or worsening of the sense of smell or taste, or failure to relieve nosebleeds.

Medically reviewed by Peter O'Connor, MD: American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine
"Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of nasal obstruction" uptodate.com

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/14/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rhinoplasty - Experience Question: Why did you decide to have rhinoplasty? Please share your experience.
Rhinoplasty - Surgical Experience Question: What is it like to have rhinoplasty surgery? Describe your experience, including recovery and results.