Can Cartilage Removed from my First Rhinoplasty Be Reused for my Secondary Rhinoplasty?

It's been 6 months since my first Rhinoplasty and due to unsatisfactory results, I'm considering going in for a second Rhinoplasty. I know for a fact the Doctor jarred up and refrigerated the removed cartilage, but will he be able to reuse it or will he have to remove cartilage from my ear to perform the surgery? Thanks for taking the time to read my post, I'm looking forward to your response!

Doctor Answers 5

Using Stored Cartilage in Revision Rhinoplasty

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As far as I know ll human tissue removed and stored before being grafted back into that patient must be kept in  an accredited tissue bank. That is why I will place extra cartilage under the skin behind the ear for future  grafting if necessary. I would not use the refrigerated cartilage, but nothing is lost because there are multiple sources of cartilage in our bodies.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Cartilage grafts for a revision rhinoplasty

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Dear Eamr83

The use of cartilage for grafting in a revision surgery usually comes from your own septum (if anything was left), ear cartilage or your rib, depending on what is needed. 

 Using banked cartilage is not a common practice.

Best Wishes.


Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Banked cartilage not viable

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Unfortunately cartilage banked outside the body is not viable.  Cartilage can be banked under the scalp or within the nose.  Cartilage banked outside your body can't be used.



Raghu Athre, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Cartilage from rhinoplasty

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Unfortunately, banking cartilage is not something that is done as far as I know in NY.  If you need additional grafting, then the septum or ear cartilage or even rib cartilage is available.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Reusing Cartilage from First Rhinoplasty Surgery During Secondary Rhinoplasty

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Here in California and in many other states, you have to store the cartilage in an authorized, licensed tissue bank if you want to reuse it. Just jarring it up and refrigerating the cartilage in the office raises my eyebrow. You have to keep in mind that some studies show using cartilage recycled even through a licensed tissue bank results in a less than optimal outcome because of the 'processing' done for preservation. I think you would be better off undergoing either auricular (ear) or costal (rib) cartilage grafting as part of the revisionary rhinoplasty procedure if there is a need for structural cartilage grafting to further reshape the nose.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 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.