Physical Health

Recognizing Signs of a Complication after Rhinoplasty Surgery

Have you been toying with the idea of going for a rhinoplasty surgery? Well, you’re not alone. Various studies indicate that over 220,000 people undergo rhinoplasty in the United States alone. That’s enough to make it one of the most common plastic surgeries.

But just like these 220,000+ patients, you never can tell how a nose job will pan out. The procedure can be a smashing success or an epic failure depending on various factors, including the scope of surgery and medical negligence.

This article looks at some recognizable signs of a complication after rhinoplasty surgery.

Common Signs of Rhinoplasty Surgery

As with any plastic surgery, there are certain tell-tale signs that a person underwent a rhinoplasty. Most of these signs aren’t classified as life-threatening and are unlikely to lead to severe complications. They include;


There’s virtually no surgery that doesn’t present a degree of pain, no matter how mild or non-invasive it may be.

And while the evidence of pain may not be out there for everyone to see, the soreness resulting from rhinoplasty procedures will make you uncomfortable for a few weeks.


Inflammation is commonly associated with foreign bodily substances, such as splinters and pathogens. However, it’s also one of the most noticeable symptoms of surgery. And that explains why rhinoplasty post-op bumps aren’t uncommon.

Nearly all rhinoplasties present considerable risks of inflammation. Fortunately, only you and your surgeon will usually detect the swelling.


Rhinoplasties may trigger considerable feelings of lethargy. You can expect to feel fatigued if the procedure involves significant blood loss. Besides, certain medications, including pain relievers, may make you tired and lethargic.

That’s precisely why most surgeons recommend abstaining from strenuous physical activities for 3 – 6 weeks after having a rhinoplasty.

Signs of a Complication after Rhinoplasty Surgery

Persistent Pain

We’ve already hinted that pain is part and parcel of any surgical operation. But the duration of your pain following a surgical procedure could indicate a complication.

There’s no hard and fast rule on how long the pain will disappear after a rhinoplasty. However, you should consult your surgeon if the sore persists for over six weeks. Call even sooner if the pain occurs alongside headaches.

Persistent Inflammation

Much like pain, inflammation after rhinoplasty is only common if it lasts a few weeks. Beware of swelling that won’t go away.

Experts recommend paying particular attention to bumps that continuously increase in size. That’s especially if you underwent a reconstructive rhinoplasty to remove a tumor. A persistently bulging bump indicates that the tumor is still active and aggressive.


After undergoing rhinoplasty, your surgeon will prescribe a range of medications. These drugs are intended to relieve pain during the recovery process. They may also cause numbness since they interact with certain nasal nociceptors.

However, numbness that persists long after the pain indicates something is out of whack. It’s worse if a reduced sense of smell accompanies the numbness.


It’s perfectly normal to expect some bleeding during a rhinoplasty. You could also have one or two nosebleeds after the procedure due to physical trauma, such as accidentally knocking your nose on a brick wall.

That said, nosebleeds generally shouldn’t occur after rhinoplasty. So, seek urgent intervention before things get out of hand.

Ensure you accurately explain the type of bleeding experienced. The surgeon will prescribe remedies depending on whether the nosebleeds result from blood vessels rupturing inside your nose or bruising at the base of the nose.

 Allergic Reactions

If you had no history of nasal allergies before undergoing rhinoplasty, you should immediately report these incidents to your surgeon.

Most people who get allergies following rhinoplasty surgeries typically react to anesthetics. However, even this isn’t justified. The last thing you want is to develop sneezes or a runny nose while still recovering from a rhinoplasty procedure.

Breathing Problems

Problems breathing through the nose are other tell-tale signs of rhinoplasty complications. It suggests that the surgeon inadvertently left some nasal tissues blocking your airways.

Do not try to snort the blockage out. Instead, call the doctor immediately and inform them of your breathing difficulties.


This is perhaps the most reliable indication that something may have gone wrong with your rhinoplasty.

Bacterial infections will typically occur if the wound is improperly dressed. If untreated, things can quickly escalate into your entire respiratory system.

Other potential complications from rhinoplasties include;

  • Septal perforation – a hole in the wall separating your right and left nostrils
  • A need for a second or third surgery (except for a previously scheduled follow-up procedure)
  • Scarring at the base of the nose

 Final Word

Rhinoplasty is like any surgery. No matter how carefully executed, there are always risks of complications. However, you can reduce those risks by choosing a qualified surgeon.

One of the best practices when looking for a rhinoplasty surgeon is to insist on one licensed to practice. It’s also prudent to go for a surgeon that’s a board-certified member of professional organizations like the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Be sure to ask for a list of satisfied clients.

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By Fitness Nation

Fitness Nation is a collection of authors who write guest posts for TF Clark Fitness Magazine. All authors are vetted carefully and bring a wealth of collective knowledge on health and fitness.

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