How Cartilage Graft Rhinoplasty Can Correct Nasal Deformities

Posted by Andre Panossian, MD

Dr. Andre Panossian offers a comprehensive understanding of methods of rhinoplasty that provide natural-looking and long-lasting results.

Ever considered a nose job? Well, we’re here to talk about rhinoplasty with cartilage grafting. It’s a method where a piece of the patient’s body cartilage is used to shape the nose during surgery. Sounds a bit complex, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, it’s safe and highly effective. What’s truly important is that it gives the nose more structure and long-lasting results. Ready to dive deeper? Our article will tell you all about it!

Understanding the Basics of Rhinoplasty Surgery

Primary or Revision Rhinoplasty with cartilage is a complex procedure in plastic surgery. Surgeons use this method when the surgery requires additional structure to improve the nose’s appearance or functionality. It is a type of procedure that uses autologous cartilage as a grafting material to shape the nose.

When conducting this surgical technique, an experienced plastic surgeon extracts a small piece of the human body cartilage. This form of rhinoplasty can be more challenging than other types due to the need for an additional procedure to extract the cartilage from the ear or rib.

Though it may sound daunting, it is a safe and effective method. Despite the complexity, it provides significant amounts of cartilage for patients who require extensive nasal reconstruction. As costal cartilage grafting involves more steps, it may be costlier compared to other types of rhinoplasty. Yet, the result delivers a more natural look and is usually worth the investment.

Types of Cartilage Rhinoplasty

When performing a nose job surgery, the expert may be harvesting cartilage from different sources: ear cartilage, septal cartilage, rib cartilage, and even artificial implants. Each type has its advantages and considerations.

Ear Cartilage

Ear cartilage graft is often preferred for minor nose reshaping because of its softness and ease of shaping. Doctors can subtly sculpt and reposition the cartilage to enhance nasal tip definition. However, due to its limited size, this graft material is not suitable for substantial nose restructuring.

Septal Cartilage

On the other hand, septal cartilage is the default source for minor to moderate grafts for rhinoplasty Pasadena. It is the ideal choice due to the simplicity of harvesting and its ideal characteristics for nasal tip refinement. Septal cartilage grafts are typically taken from the middle portion of the nasal septum or the upper part of the nose. However, availability may be an issue if the patient has had previous nasal surgeries or suffers from a deviated septum.

Rib Cartilage

For major nose reconstruction, rib cartilage is used. It provides a solid and long-lasting framework, and it’s plentiful, and suitable for demanding procedures like correcting severe deformities. However, harvesting rib cartilage requires a separate incision site and bears a higher risk of complications.

Artificial Materials

In some cases, synthetic materials are used to fill in gaps and provide support to the nose. These include both synthetic implants and biocompatible materials. These types of implants can be useful for minor changes, but they tend to have a less natural appearance and may cause long-term complications. Plus, it requires additional follow-up due to the risk of infection.

Keep in mind that some plastic surgeons will use donor cartilage, but this is usually only done if there’s a lack of source of cartilage from the patient themselves. The type of cartilage used significantly affects results, recovery time, risks, and surgical complexity. Therefore, the surgeon will carefully choose the most appropriate cartilage source for each patient.

Nasal Deformities Corrected Through Rhinoplasty

Nasal deformities can significantly undermine an individual’s self-esteem and general health. Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness and durability of rib grafts in rhinoplasty to correct deformities. Consequently, more doctors increasingly consider it a viable solution for patients with various nasal structure issues:

  • Saddle nose deformity: The nasal bridge, known as the dorsum, can be reduced excessively during surgery which results in a flat or hollowed-out look to the middle of the nose.
  • Polly beak deformity: The parrot beak nose is caused by excess tissue in the dorsum area, which makes the nasal tip droop downward and appear longer and protruding.
  • Alar collapse: It occurs when the soft tissue of the nostrils becomes thin and weak due to inadequate support from nasal cartilage.
  • Alar retraction: It is a condition that affects the nose, specifically the nostrils, causing them to become more visible. It can be caused by factors such as aggressive rhinoplasty, excessive tissue extraction from the nasal region, aging, and autoimmune diseases affecting nasal cartilage.
  • Crooked nose: The inner wall of the nose consists of cartilage and bone, which can result in an uneven appearance if not properly aligned. Whether from birth or a previous injury, a crooked nose causes aesthetic concerns in some people.
  • Nose asymmetry: This is a common problem that can be caused by many different factors. In some cases, it may be due to underlying medical problems, such as cleft lip or surgery-related trauma. But often, asymmetrical noses are the result of an imbalance in cartilage strength between the two sides of the nose.

The use of cartilage in rhinoplasty improves both structures and blends well with natural facial features, resulting in superior aesthetics and functionality.

Grafting Cartilage Rhinoplasty Procedure

The cartilage grafting rhinoplasty process starts with a consultation where we discuss the objectives, benefits, and potential risks of the procedure. Our team then designs a custom surgical plan considering individual requirements and goals.

The surgical procedure begins with anesthesia administration, followed by an incision to get the piece of cartilage. This serves to offer natural compatibility and adaptability. Once the cartilage is safely extracted, the rhinoplasty surgeon shifts focus to the nose. We make an additional incision in the nose, usually inside the nostrils, for minimal scarring. Via this incision, the cartilage is carefully sculpted and inserted.

The final step involves sutures closing all incisions. The complete process of rhinoplasty with rib cartilage takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.

Risks and Complications of Cartilage Grafting Rhinoplasty

One primary risk is the possible scar left post-surgery. While the incision is often discreet, a scar can sometimes be visible. There’s also the risk of infection or extrusion. While these are rare consequences, they should be discussed fully.

Some patients also face the risk of rejection of the donor rib cartilage. To minimize this risk, reputable surgeons use only the best quality materials from reliable sources. Informed decision-making is key to managing any risk of complications and ensuring a successful outcome.

The Healing Process After Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty

The healing process after rib cartilage rhinoplasty is usually steady. In the first few days after surgery, you will feel some pain and discomfort, which we alleviate with prescribed pain medication. You might also experience some bruising and swelling which typically last for 10-14 days.

We will instruct you to avoid strenuous activities and to sleep with your head elevated. Also, for an optimal healing process, it’s key for you to follow all the doctor’s recommendations rigorously.

Improvements continue to manifest for several months to a year as the rib cartilage settles into its new location on your nose. Ultimately, the final surgical outcome will be seen around one year after the surgery as the healing process completely ends.

A Closer Look at Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty Scars

When patients consider cartilage grafting rhinoplasty Pasadena CA, they often express concern about the potential risk of scarring. A skilled surgeon precisely positions the incision to minimize visibility. Particularly, under the nostrils or even inside the nose where the aesthetic impact is negligible.

Getting the rib cartilage graft involves making a small incision on the chest. The lower edge of the rib cage, usually hidden under clothing, is the preferred site for this as it further decreases the chances of visible scars.

Additionally, an experienced surgeon will pay keen attention to protecting the skin’s integrity and fostering optimal healing. The patient’s skin type, age, and overall health also play a vital role in determining how noticeable the scar remains post-recovery.

Revision Rhinoplasty Surgery using Rib Cartilage

When the results of a previous surgery are unsatisfactory or complications arise, surgeons often suggest a revision procedure.

The rib cartilage provides a stable and dependable graft source, ensuring a more successful outcome compared to the initial procedure. In situations such as a collapsed nose, insufficient cartilage left, or an overly resected nose, a secondary rhinoplasty using cartilage becomes necessary.

Moreover, if the initial surgery led to functional issues such as breathing difficulties, often due to nasal valve collapse, revision surgery might be the solution. Surgeons take great care to ensure that the revision surgery corrects the issues caused by the previous surgery, leading to a more desired and satisfactory outcome for the patient.

Talk with a Rhinoplasty Expert

Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon for rhinoplasty is crucial. The board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Andre Panossian has decades of experience and specialization in the field. He focuses on both aesthetic and functional outcomes. Panossian’s expertise in Pasadena rhinoplasty with cartilage is evident in his positive results. Choosing the right expert greatly impacts the final result. Dr. Panossian provides comprehensive understanding, guidance, and security with a natural-looking result. Schedule an appointment with him and let his expertise guide your transformation.

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