Rhinoplasty surgery is performed to change the shape of the nose. This can affect the sinuses, which are open cavities behind the nose. Your sinuses contain mucous membranes that are normally free of bacteria. However, when they become blocked, bacterial infection can occur, causing sinusitis – commonly known as a sinus infection. In some cases, rhinoplasty surgery can cause a sinus infection.
How Sinusitis Happens
After rhinoplasty surgery, the doctor will place packing inside the nose. After the surgical procedure, the body sends blood cells to the site. This causes inflammation, swelling, and fluid collection. The packing in the nose has the potential to trap the bacteria-filled fluid in the area. This increases the risk of a sinus infection.
Prevent Sinus Infections After Rhinoplasty
After undergoing rhinoplasty surgery, follow the instructions provided by your doctor. Following post-operative guidelines related to blowing your nose, using nasal spray, and other activities can help reduce the chance of an infection.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
After undergoing rhinoplasty surgery, if you notice headaches, lack of smell, or feelings of pressure in your sinuses, you may have a sinus infection. Often, it can be difficult to discern whether the symptoms you feel are a normal part of the healing process after nose job surgery, or signs of an infection. If you have any doubts, contact your surgeon to rule out a sinus infection immediately.
Treating a Sinus Infection
Treatment of a sinus infection typically includes antibiotics, especially if fever or swelling are noticed. You may also be prescribed pain medication to help with post-operative pain and with the pressure associated with a sinus infection. Ask your surgeon about whether it would be appropriate to use a humidifier or warm packs on your forehead or cheeks. These could reduce some symptoms of the sinus infection, but may interfere with the healing process following rhinoplasty surgery.