Can nose grafts be uncomfortable?

I had heard some patients find nose cartilage grafts uncomfortable, even to the point where they sometimes want them removed. Is it that common for cartilage grafts like Spreader, Alar Batten, Rim or Columella strut to feel uncomfortable on a patient forever?

Doctor Answers 4

Uncomfortable Cartilage Grafts

A cartilage graft is a unlikely source of discomfort following rhinoplasty.  However, I have seen pain occur on rare occasion when a  "tip graft" or "shield graft" has been used in a patient with extremely thin nasal skin. If the tip graft is placed in a tight skin envelope, the contacting points of the tip graft can rub against the thin overlying skin causing focal pain and occasional skin erosion. This risk can be minimized by covering the cartilage with a soft tissue graft such as fascia, or by selecting an alternative technique in the thin-skinned patient.  It would be very rare for the other types of grafts mentioned to cause discomfort unless the cartilage graft was excessively mobile or permanent sutures were used to fix the graft into position. A knotted suture can irritate the surrounding skin and soft tissue, thereby causing discomfort.  For that reason, I do not use permanent sutures in rhinoplasty. My bottom-line best advice is that cartilage grafts rarely cause pain/discomfort after nasal surgery and to not let this uncommon risk influence your decision on whether or not to proceed. My Best. 


Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Cartilage grafts uncomfortable?

Cartilage grafts are placed in very precise pockets in specific locations inside the nose and they grow into the surrounding tissue. They do not cause any uncomfortableness, and most patients  cannot feel  them. For more information and many examples, please see the link and video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Can nose grafts be uncomfortable?

I have yet to see this as an issue. But that being said, every day every case every patient is a new challenge and sometimes a new set of problems.

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery

Are cartilage grafts uncomfortable?

Cartilage grafts that are placed correctly and completely flush with the anatomy of the nose should not be uncomfortable.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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.