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Posted January 28, 2019 in Rhinoplasty

Many people who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose look into plastic surgery and undergo rhinoplasty. Although rhinoplasty can provide you with a new and aesthetically pleasing nose, some patients may experience a loss of taste or smell after their surgery. This may sound scary, but there is no need to worry, as it is only temporary. It is actually incredibly rare for rhinoplasty to permanently affect your ability to taste or smell. But why does this happen in the first place? Well, we have the answers for you below.

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What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is a popular cosmetic procedure that can alter the size and shape of the nose for a more flattering appearance. Some patients find their overly large nose to be a distraction while others would like for their nose to be straighter or more symmetrical. In other instances, some people with breathing difficulties may opt for septoplasty. Candidates for rhinoplasty usually undergo this procedure because they struggle with issues such as:

  • Bumps on the bridge of the nose
  • A disproportionately large nose
  • A large or round tip
  • Nasal breathing difficulties

Dr. Baker’s philosophy is that your nose should look natural and blend well with the rest of your facial features. Using minimally invasive techniques, he will gently refine the nose rather than radically re-engineer it.

How Do Your Senses of Smell and Taste Work?

To better understand why someone can temporarily lose their senses of smell and taste following rhinoplasty, one must understand how both senses function together. When a person breathes through their nose, the nerve endings inside the nose can detect a scent as the air wafts past them.

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These same air molecules then pass through the nasal cavity into the back of the throat. This is how your taste buds can detect flavor based on the scent. When you have a cold and your nose is stuffed, the nerves and air passages usually get blocked, making it difficult to smell and taste. The same thing can occur when a person has undergone rhinoplasty due to their nose being swollen and bruised.

What Happens to Your Senses After Rhinoplasty?

Because rhinoplasty is an extensive procedure that requires drastic changes to the nose, it makes sense that your body needs time to heal. Therefore, it is common for the nasal tissues to swell and for the nerves and air passages to be affected during the recovery process.

Although this can reduce your sense of smell and taste, these effects are only temporary. Your ability to smell and taste will return as soon as your nasal passages clear up or the swelling goes down. For many patients, their senses may fully return within three to six weeks. Complete healing can take six months to a year, and there should be no lasting or permanent effects on taste or smell.

To learn more about rhinoplasty and how it can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, you can contact our office at (305) 381-8837 or schedule a consultation online.