Can cartilage from otoplasty (pinning back ears) be used for nose tip revision?

I am thinking of having both surgeries simultaneously. I don't think I would want rib cartilage removed.

Doctor Answers 7

Using cartilage from otoplasty for rhinoplasty

It is possible to remove ear cartilage during otoplasty to use during rhinoplasty. During otoplasty there may not necessarily be very much cartilage removed normally but if your surgeon is already working in the area then the necessary amount of cartilage could be removed while there.

Ear cartilage is very different in quality than rib cartilage so the decision to use ear versus rib sometimes comes down more to what the cartilage is being used for in the nose. Also, if septum cartilage is available that is often used first (before ear or rib). 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Can cartilage from otoplasty (pinning back ears) be used for nose tip revision?

Hi, I have performed and taught man Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty Surgeries for over 30 years as well as performing Otoplasty.  If the Otoplasty entails removing the "conchal cartilage" then yes, this can and is often used in Revision Rhinoplasty to shape and support the nasal tip.  I do not use folded conchal cartilage to augment the nasal dorsum (bridge) as it tends to dissolve unevenly with time when used in that position.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Rhinoplasty and otoplasty combination

Rhinoplasty and otoplasty combination can be perform together at the same time under General  anesthesia  or the otoplasty can be performed as a separate procedure under local  anesthesia. In our practice we much prefer to use nasal cartilage for any type of grafting purposes since that Cartlidge works better for the nose. When there is a cartilage depleted nose, Then ear  Cartlidge can be used as a secondary grafting source.When performing a otoplasty procedure, we do not remove any Cartlidge from the ear, and only re-create the Anti-helical fold and pin the ears back. Best to have a consultation with a very experienced surgeon to understand the expectations of limitations  of two very complicated surgeries.  For more information and many examples of both procedures, please see the link and the video below 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Otoplasty Can Yield Cartilage to Use for Nasal Revision

One of the main sites to obtain cartilage for nasal revision is the external ear.  Often, the cartilage is harvested without a change in ear shape.   However, if a patient desires and otoplasty and a good candidate for this procedure, the excess cartilage from the ear can be used for the nasal tip.    Good question!

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Using Cartilage From Otoplasty for Nasal Tip Revision

If septal cartilage is not available (you mention this is a tip revision) ear cartilage would be my first choice which can easily be harvested while doing the otoplasty.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Otoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty

Dear Kathleen_k, I always prefer to use the septal cartilage and if that is not sufficient then ear cartilage when necessary. I personally do not use rib cartilage. If you are having an otoplasty and revision rhinoplasty done simultaneously then yes if ear cartilage is available this can be used. A consultation and examination of what needs to be done both with your ears and your nose would provide the answer to your questions. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Can cartilage from otoplasty (pinning back ears) be used for nose tip revision?

Ear cartilage is often used in the appropriate patient as a graft in nasal revisions if there is not adequate septal cartilage. I would suggest that have a consultation with a plastic surgeon with extensive rhinoplasty experience who should be board certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you can locate through the "Smart Beauty Guide" of ASAPS or a facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D., FACS

La Jolla, California


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 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.