On the RealSelf website, a patient posted the question, “Should I proceed with Rhinoplasty with a Bacterial Infection on Face?” The patient provided additional information that they had a recurring breakout on their face. A dermatologist cultured the area and lab reports showed a gram negative bacteria called “Acinetobacter.” Also, a nasal swab culture indicated “Enterobacter aerogenes.” The dermatologist prescribed Cipro for both. It is generally not wise to proceed with a Rhinoplasty or any elective cosmetic operation when a bacterial infection is present. In the example provided, the type of bacteria from the nasal swab is not a normal contaminant of the nose and could cause a nasal infection in the area of the Rhinoplasty. And a bacterial infection of the face that is not yet controlled, could also lead to a nasal infection. This is an important issue because patients can get a bacterial infection between the time of their last visit with the surgeon and the surgical date. If you have, or think you have, any type of bacterial infection prior to scheduled surgery it is very important to let your surgeon know immediately. The surgeon will want to postpone your nasal surgery (or other cosmetic surgery) until the infections are gone.
--- Russell Kridel, MD, Houston, Texas