Rhinoplasty re-shapes the nose to be flattering and complementary to your other facial features. There are many different concerns that people seeking rhinoplasty want to correct, from large nostrils, to a humped bridge, to a nose that is too small overall. An experienced facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Ronald Schuster matches the rhinoplasty technique to the desired outcome. For some patients, he recommends cartilage grafting to build up certain areas of the nose.
Areas which need cartilage grafting include the tip, the bridge (dorsum) and alongside the dorsal septum to prevent or treat collapse. The first choice and most commonly used is the septum. The second choice is usually the ear cartilage. The rib is used when a large amount of correction is needed or in revision surgery when there is not any cartilage remaining in the previously discussed areas. Removing the cartilage from any of the “donor” sites does not affect the appearance in any of the areas.
Rhinoplasty in many African American as well as Asian ethnic groups frequently require cartilage grafting to the dorsum in order to raise the height and help to make it look more narrow. Cartilage grafting is also frequently used to give more support and definition to the tip of the nose.
Cartilage can be an ideal nose re-shaping material. If you think about your ear, the cartilage is firm yet flexible. You can bend it but it instantly springs back into shape once released. It isn’t hard and rigid like a bone, but it is strong enough to maintain the shape and structure of your ear. Much of your nose is composed of cartilage, so it makes sense to use more of it when augmenting the shape of the nose.
The other option for nose augmentation is a synthetic implant. Dr. Schuster does not use synthetic implants. They run the risk of becoming infected or extruding / eroding through the skin. Cartilage grafts cannot be rejected because they are your own tissue. Once healing is complete they are simply part of the new shape of the nose.
Learn More About Rhinoplasty Techniques
If you are interested in nose surgery and you live in Owings Mills, Towson, Lutherville-Timonium, or anywhere in the Baltimore area, please call the practice of board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster at 410-902-9800. We look forward to answering your questions and arranging your consultation with Dr. Schuster. We offer virtual consultations as well.