Smell Perception Reduction or Changes After Rhinoplasty Operation

Will Your Sense of Smell Be Changed After Nose Job?

Loss of Smell,Smell Disorders,Rhinoplasty,COVID-19 Infection, Smell Perception,Anosmia,

After the rhinoplasty operation, a temporary decrease in the perception of smell and then a permanent increase may occur. The reason for this situation can be explained as follows: 

- There may be a "significant decrease in smile perception" in the first week after the rhinoplasty operation. The reason for this is the silicone splints placed in the nose after the rhinoplasty operation. The smell perception area in the nose is the olfactory area above the nasal cavity and with open nerve endings. In order for there to be a smell perception in this area, the outside air must come into contact with this area. As long as there are silicone splints in the nose, patients can only breathe through the 1 cm diameter hole of the silicone splints, that is, the air passage to the olfactory area is very limited and the smell perception is reduced to the maximum. 

- After the rhinoplasty operation, there is an increase in the sense of smell immediately after the removal of the internal silicone splints in the first week, but sometimes the perception of smell may be less than normal for up to 6 weeks or longer. This is because the mucosa in the nose is edematous and the nasal airway is still not sufficient, or it takes a few weeks for the nasal mucosa to heal and become moist and secretory. 

- In the long term, there is an increase in the perception of smell after septorhinoplasty operation. During the septorhinoplasty operation, problems such as septum deviation and turbinate hypertrophy, which narrow the air passage in the nose, can also be eliminated. Accordingly, an increase in the amount of air entering the olfactory area through the nose and an increase in smell perception can be detected. Permanent reduction in smell perception after rhinoplasty is very rare. In the article named "Changes of olfaction due to aesthetic and functional nose surgery", it is emphasized that the cause of permanent anosmia (complete loss of smile perception) after nasal surgery is not known exactly.

- After the functional septorhinoplasty operation, since the intranasal airways will be more open and breathing will be more comfortable, an improvement in the sense of smell can be detected in most of the patients after the operation.

Do not confuse temporary loss of smell after rhinoplasty operation with smell loss after coronavirus infection!

While the whole world is trying to get rid of the coronavirus pandemic, our patients who have had rhinoplasty may think they have a covid-19 infection due to smell loss after the operation. Of course, coronavirus infection can start at the same time immediately after the rhinoplasty operation. However, many of my patients feel relieved when an immediate increase in smell perception is noticed after the internal silicone splints are removed. Smell and taste disorders can be seen in Covid-19 infections, and there are sources emphasizing this situation as central nervous system involvement. An article published in Nature reported that 41% of 8,438 patients with COVID-19 infection experienced a loss of smell. Some researchers report that olfactory loss can be used as a diagnostic test for COVID-19. Related article link >> COVID's toll on smell and taste: what scientists do and don't

Another recently published study reported that 72% of people with COVID-19 with olfactory disorders regained their sense of smell after one month. Related article link >> Subjective smell and taste changes during the COVID-19 pandemic: Short term recovery

After the rhinoplasty operation, it is useful to pay attention to the intranasal care recommendations, to regularly irrigate the nose with salt water, and to stay away from foods and environments that dry the nasal mucosa, in order for the intranasal mucosa to recover early and to accelerate the healing.

Don't be afraid, you will be able to drink coffee easily again!

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon

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