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Foul Smell in Nose AFTER Sinus Surgery

I've been reading a lot of posts about "smells" in the nose, but I haven't seen anything with my particular circumstance.
Three weeks ago, I had sinus surgery. I had thickening in the frontal and maxillary sinuses, and a couple of polyps removed. Recovery was going fine until yesterday when I began to have this smell in my nose. I have a relative who has chronic bad breath. The only way I know to describe the smell is to say that it smells like my aunt's bad breath. It can be very faint, but at times will come on very strong like opening a garbage can and getting an intense wave of bad smelling stuff. I'm also getting a lot more drainage down my throat and have actually had to blow my nose more these last two days than I did the first three weeks after surgery.

I have been using saline spray numerous times a day since my surgery, so I can't figure out why I would start having these problems now.
93 Responses
686059 tn?1293837427
Your healing. I had the same surgery and for the longest time, I had a strong smell of rubber. It was like being in Goodyear tire shop. Very annoying, but it's all part of healing. It will take some time and if contact your physician for this type of concern. Good luck.
Avatar universal
That's funny how different people describe the smell. I never thought about it, but you're right- it is a rubber like smell too. Thanks for the reply. I'm still going to call my doctor tomorrow, but you've made me feel better.
Avatar universal
By the way, only my right nostril smells today. Weird. Just plain weird.
Avatar universal

The smell could possibly come from an infection in the frontal or sphenoid, or even the maxillary, and if so, the toxins will produce that smell.  Saline sprays don't work in the upper sinuses well, because of gravity.  The only thing that really works is a FlipTurn Sinus Flush, but there's no way I'd recommend it this soon after surgery.  The smell will probably go away on its own, keep in touch with your doctor.
Avatar universal

I called my doctor on Monday and was prescribed 875 mg AMOXICILLIN (a-MOX-i-SIL-in) and CLAVULANATE (KLAV-ue-la-nate) tablets. After the smell had disappeared from my left side, it continued to hang out in the right side for a couple of days. Then, late last night (after my third dose of antibiotics) it disappeared all together.
Avatar universal
I mistakenly assumed that you'd already be on antibiotics after surgery.  I also assume your doctor told you to stay on the antibiotics after the smell goes away, finish the full course, or the bacteria can grow back.
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