Recognizing and Managing Infections in Rhinoplasty Implant

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Silicone and Gortex implants, sometimes incorporating irradiated cartilage or bone, are frequently used in augmentation rhinoplasty. However, approximately 10% of these implants may become infected over a person's lifetime, making it a medical concern. This article will guide you on how to recognize and address such infections.

Detecting an Infection

Identifying an infection in your implant is vital, and you should not take it lightly. Here's how to tell if there might be an issue:

a. Implant Protrusion: If the implant is protruding through the skin on the dorsum (top part) of the nose or the tip, it's a clear sign of infection. Any breach in the skin covering the implant requires immediate attention and appropriate treatment.

b. Near Extrusion:  If the implant is nearly pushing through the skin and has become thin, you may notice tenderness upon touch. This condition, known as near extrusion, also demands prompt surgical intervention by a qualified Plastic Surgeon.

c. Redness, Pain, and Drainage: An infected implant can lead to a red, painful, and draining nose with a foul odor. Symptoms like fevers or headaches can also occur. Even if the implant hasn't breached the skin, these signs are indicative of a likely infection. In some rare cases, immediate antibiotic treatment may save the implant, but often removal is necessary.


In principle, any infected implant, whether in the nose, breast, knee, or elsewhere, must be removed. After removal, your body needs time to heal, typically within 3-6 months. Following the healing period, you may be a candidate for a replacement implant. However, in many cases, it's advisable to consider alternative options, such as self-tissue reconstruction using your own skin, fat, or fascia. These materials become part of your body, reducing the risk of future infections.

Seeking Professional Help

If you suspect an infection related to your nasal implant, it's crucial to seek immediate care from a board-certified Plastic Surgeon. If possible, choose a surgeon with experience in nasal implant surgery for specialized treatment. Do not wait until the infection becomes severe, and the implant starts protruding through the skin, as this complicates the reconstructive process in Plastic Surgery.

In conclusion, understanding the signs of implant infection and acting promptly can make a significant difference in the successful management of the condition. Your health and well-being should always be the top priority in any rhinoplasty or plastic surgery procedure.