Tapia's syndrome: an unexpected but real complication of rhinoplasty: case report and literature review

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2012 Jun;36(3):557-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-011-9849-y. Epub 2011 Dec 17.


Extracranial involvement of the recurrent laryngeal and hypoglossal nerves, also known as Tapia's syndrome, is a rare complication of airway management under general anesthesia. We report such a case after an otherwise uncomplicated rhinoplasty. After reviewing the other nine reported cases of Tapia's syndrome, we found that half of the patients had undergone rhinoplasty or septorhinoplasty. The risk factors, etiology, clinical course, recovery potential, and preventive measures are analyzed and discussed. Although Tapia's syndrome after rhinoplasty/septorhinoplasty appears to be rare, it should be considered by both the anesthetist and the plastic surgeon, and most importantly, special attention should be paid to preventive strategies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglossal Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve*
  • Rhinoplasty / adverse effects*
  • Syndrome