I had an open septorhinoplasty a month ago to remove a hump. Can Alar Rim Grafts Be Removed?

I had an open septorhinoplasty a month ago to remove a hump. I'm not happy with the results. The surgeon made changes to the tip of my nose which I didn't consent to. He placed alar rim grafts which have lowered my nostrils, giving the appearance of a retracted columella. My nostril rims are now 2 completely different shapes and the tip of my nose looks very bulbous and wide.Is it possible to remove these grafts? Is it possible to get my old nose tip back if I have a revision?

Doctor Answers 6

Returning to your original nose is probably impossible after rhinoplasty.

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Short answer to your question is that the graft can be removed. If the native cartilages were adjusted anyway that would probably mean you could never return to your old nasal tip.

Rhinoplasty and grafts, revision rhinoplasty

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Dear Lilly23,

  1. It is still very early and I would wait for all of the swelling to go down
  2. Rim grafts are usually very small and make only a very small change in the nostril
  3. It could just be swollen and the nose needs time to even out
  4. If after 6 months you are still unhappy, then you can seek out a revision rhinoplasty specialist

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Can Alar Rim Grafts Be Removed?

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              Yes, these grafts as well as any other can be removed.   You may want to delay this until swelling resolves to some extent.



Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Nasl cartilage graft removal.

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Rhinoplasty in general is one of the more challenging cases in facial plastic surgery. Part of that challenge is that it takes time for the nose to mature to the final result. External (open) rhinoplasty techniques often create nasal tip swelling that will resovle mostly by 3 months, although refinement continues even for years. While it is possible to remove alar rim grafts, I allow more time for the nose to continue healing. You may find that as the swelling goes down, the bulbous appearance will improve. If the tip is swollen from edema (post-op swelling) rather than from the graft, injection of steroid may be helpful.

C.W. David Chang, MD
Columbia Facial Plastic Surgeon

Removing alar rim grafts

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After any open septorhinoplasty the alar rims (nostrils) will naturally retract and pull up.  Alar rim grafts are small, narrow pieces of cartilage that prevent this retraction from occurring.  While it is possible to remove these, at one month it may be a bit premature to judge the appearance of your nostrils.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Can Alar Rim Grafts Be Removed?

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Rim grafts can be removed. They are typically delicate grafts and are therefore slightly more challenging to remove intact. With that said, one month is a very early time point following rhinoplasty. You likely still have significant swelling of your nose and I anticipate that this will improve significantly during the first 3-6 months following surgery. In the interim, I recommend that you consult with your Facial Plastic Surgeon to discuss your concerns and inquire whether the issues you see are the result of swelling. Most likely they are. I hope this information is helpful. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.