Side Effects of Rhinoplasty - Risks, Long Term Complications

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Nikita Tyagi, last updated on 18 March 2023
Side Effects of Rhinoplasty - Risks, Long Term Complications

Rhinoplasty, or nose job, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to change the nose's shape, size, or function. Are you doubtful regarding rhinoplasty side effects? While rhinoplasty is generally considered safe, potential side effects can occur in the long term.

Discussing the potential rhinoplasty risks and benefits with a qualified surgeon before the procedure is essential.  Is rhinoplasty safe? Continue reading this blog to know more about the same.

Indications of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty can be done for aesthetic or functional reasons. The decision to undergo rhinoplasty should be made in consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon who can evaluate the patient's needs and goals.

The indications for rhinoplasty may include the following:

  1. Cosmetic concerns: Rhinoplasty can improve the appearance of one's nose by changing its size, shape, or proportion to match the patient's facial features better.
  2. Breathing difficulties: Rhinoplasty can be done to correct a deviated septum or any other structural abnormalities that may cause breathing difficulties.
  3. Trauma: Rhinoplasty can be done to correct a nose injured or broken due to trauma.
  4. Congenital defects: Rhinoplasty can be done to correct genetic defects or abnormalities that affect the appearance or function of the nose.
  5. Ageing: Rhinoplasty can be done to address changes to the nose that occur with ageing, such as drooping or a more prominent hump.

Care before Rhinoplasty

Before undergoing rhinoplasty, it is essential to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful procedure. Here are some care tips to consider:

  1. Choose a qualified surgeon: Research and choose a skilled plastic surgeon who is experienced in rhinoplasty.
  2. Avoid medications that can increase bleeding: Certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners, can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Avoid taking these medications for several weeks before the procedure.
  3. Quit smoking: Smoking can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications. Quit smoking at least two weeks before and after surgery.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.
  5. Prepare for recovery: Take time off work or other activities to rest and recover after surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home and help with tasks as needed.
  6. Follow preoperative instructions: Follow the instructions provided by your surgeon for preparing for surgery, including fasting before the procedure and washing the face and hair with a special antibacterial soap.

By following these care tips, patients can help to ensure is rhinoplasty safe or not.

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Side effects of Rhinoplasty

Like any surgical procedure, there are some rhinoplasty side effects. It's important to discuss the rhinoplasty risks and potential side effects with your surgeon before deciding to undergo the procedure. They can provide specific information based on your circumstances and help you make an informed decision. 

Some common rhinoplasty risks and complications include:

  1. Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during and after the surgery, which can cause swelling and bruising.
  2. Infection: There is a chance of infection following surgery, which can be treated with antibiotics.
  3. Poor wound healing: The incisions during rhinoplasty can take longer than expected or may not heal properly, resulting in scarring.
  4. Unsatisfactory cosmetic result: In some cases, the final result of the surgery may not be as desired, leading to dissatisfaction with the nose's appearance.
  5. Breathing problems: Rhinoplasty can affect the function of the nose, including breathing. Some people may experience difficulty breathing through their noses after surgery.
  6. Pain: Some discomfort or pain is normal after surgery, and pain medication can be prescribed to help manage it.
  7. Swelling: Swelling is common after rhinoplasty and can take several weeks or months to resolve fully.
  8. Bruising: Bruising is common after rhinoplasty and typically disappears within a few weeks.
  9. Dry nose: The inside of the nose may feel dry or crusty after surgery, and a saline spray or ointment may be recommended to moisturise the area.
  10. Numbness: The nose and surrounding areas may numb after surgery, but this typically resolves within a few weeks.
  11. Septum perforation: Also known as a hole in the septum, septal perforation can occur when the surgeon accidentally creates a hole in the septum while reshaping the nose.
    This can cause nasal congestion, frequent nosebleeds, whistling sounds when breathing, and a dry or sore throat. The risk of developing a septal perforation during rhinoplasty is relatively low but can occur.
    Factors like having a deviated septum or a history of nasal surgery or trauma can increase the risk of this complication.

Preventive Measures to be taken

There are various steps that you can take to help minimise the rhinoplasty side effects and optimise your recovery after a rhinoplasty:

  1. Following your surgeon's instructions carefully after the procedure, including any instructions for caring for your incisions, taking medications, and avoiding certain activities, is essential.
  2. Getting plenty of rest after rhinoplasty can help your body heal and recover more quickly.
  3. Avoiding strenuous activities like heavy lifting or exercise can help reduce the risk of complications and promote healing.
  4. Keeping your head elevated while sleeping or resting can help reduce swelling and bruising.
  5. Applying ice packs to your nose can help reduce swelling and discomfort.
  6. Avoid blowing your nose or engaging in activities that increase pressure in your nose, such as sneezing or coughing, for at least a week after the surgery.
  7. Protect your nose from the sun by wearing a hat or sunscreen for at least a month after the surgery.
  8. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco may help reduce the risk of complications and promote healing.

When to see a Doctor?

Experiencing rhinoplasty surgery side effects? It is essential to follow up with your surgeon after rhinoplasty as directed. You should also contact your surgeon or seek medical treatment if you experience any of the following rhinoplasty side effects post-surgery:

  1. Severe pain that is not relieved by pain medication
  2. Persistent fever
  3. Heavy bleeding or persistent nasal discharge
  4. drainage from the incision sites
  5. Redness, swelling
  6. Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  7. Chest pain or shortness of breath
  8. Nausea or vomiting


Rhinoplasty side effects may include pain, swelling, bruising, dryness, numbness, difficulty breathing, and an unsatisfactory cosmetic result. These side effects are typically temporary and can be managed with medications and other treatments. Following your doctor's advice and seeking medical attention is crucial if you experience severe or concerning symptoms after the surgery.

To minimise the rhinoplasty side effects and optimise your recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous activities, keep your head elevated, apply ice packs, protect your nose from the sun, and avoid alcohol and tobacco. If you or your loved ones have doubts associated with Rhinoplasty side effects, contact our team of experts at HexaHealth. Our expert team of doctors can consult you and provide you with the proper treatment. Get in touch with us TODAY!

Suggested Reads

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does rhinoplasty have long-term side effects?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications, including scarring, infection, and changes in skin sensation. However, these side effects are rare, and most people experience no long-term side effects.

What happens to rhinoplasty after years?

The rhinoplasty results are typically long-lasting, but it is important to note that the nose may continue to age and change over time. Additionally, the shape of the nose may be affected by injuries or other factors. Some people may choose to have additional surgery to maintain or further alter the appearance of their noses.

How many years will rhinoplasty last?

The results of rhinoplasty can last a lifetime, but the ageing process and other factors such as injury or weight changes can affect the appearance of the nose over time. In some cases, revision rhinoplasty may be required to maintain or enhance the results of the initial procedure.

Can your nose collapse years after rhinoplasty?

It is possible for the nose to collapse years after rhinoplasty, although this is a rare complication. It can occur when the support structures of the nose are weakened or compromised, which can result in changes to the shape and function of the nose. Revision surgery may be necessary to correct this issue.

Will a nose job change my life?

A nose job can positively impact a person's self-esteem and confidence, but it will not necessarily change a person's life significantly. While rhinoplasty can improve the appearance and function of the nose, it's important to have realistic expectations about the procedure.

It may boost confidence and self-esteem, but it's unlikely to change your life fundamentally.

What are the disadvantages of rhinoplasty?

Disadvantages of rhinoplasty include the risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, and scarring, as well as the potential for dissatisfaction with the results. Recovery can be uncomfortable and swelling may persist for several weeks or months.

Can rhinoplasty be permanent?

Rhinoplasty results are not necessarily permanent and may require touch-up procedures in the future to maintain the desired results. Revision surgery may be necessary to maintain or enhance the initial results.

Can rhinoplasty cause blindness?

While it's rare, rhinoplasty can cause blindness if there is damage to the blood supply or nerves that supply the eyes. However, this is an extremely rare complication and can be minimised by opting for an experienced and qualified surgeon.

How many times can rhinoplasty be done?

There is no limit to the number of times that rhinoplasty can be done, although multiple surgeries can increase the risk of complications and affect the long-term health of the nose. Revision rhinoplasty should only be considered after careful consultation with a qualified surgeon.

Can rhinoplasty affect the brain?

Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that primarily affects the structure and appearance of the nose. While it is possible for complications to occur during surgery that could affect the brain, this is an extremely rare occurrence.

Can rhinoplasty cause death?

While any surgery carries risks, including the risk of death, rhinoplasty is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon. However, as with any surgery, there is a small risk of complications that could potentially be life-threatening.

Does rhinoplasty weaken the nose?

The nasal bones are typically shattered during rhinoplasty so they can be narrowed. About six weeks pass before the nasal bones are fully strengthened. The nose should be able to bear an injury in the same way it did before rhinoplasty after around six weeks.

Is rhinoplasty good for health?

Rhinoplasty can be good for health in cases where the procedure is used to correct those structural issues that affect breathing, including deviated septum. However, it's important to have realistic expectations and to choose a qualified surgeon to minimise the risk of complications.

Is rhinoplasty safe?

Rhinoplasty is generally considered a safe procedure when performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon. However, as with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications that should be discussed with your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Updated on : 18 March 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Nikita Tyagi

Nikita Tyagi

BPharm (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, Hyderabad)

2 Years Experience

An enthusiastic writer with an eye for details and medical correctness. An avid reviewer and publisher. She emphasises authentic information and creates value for the readers. Earlier, she was involved in making ...View More

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