Pros and Cons of Fascia Grafting in Rhinoplasty?

In my recent pre-op visit my surgeon informed me that he will be doing both fascia and ear cartilage grafting to build my bridge. What are the risks and is this normal for my first procedure? Or is this type of grafting usually just used in revision surgery? Will there be a longer healing time associated with these procedures?

Doctor Answers 11

Pros and Cons of Fascia grafting

Fascia is a connective tissue usually harvested from the temple via a small incision in the scalp.There are rarely any problems from this procedure other than some tenderness for a few days.  The main reason to employ fascia is to camouflage potential irregularities that might arise from underlying sharp points. Think of it as adding a layer to the skin; sort of like using a down comforter rather than a sheet to lay over the nasal structure. If a patient already has thick skin then there is absolutely no good reason to use fascia as it will only add bulk and create a loss of definition. That layer of fascia holds onto swelling for a long time and can result in a layer of scar tissue which can be both desirable or undesirable depending on the particular issues. Recently surgeons have gone to wrapping small diced pieces of  cartilage into fascia (like a burrito) for use as an augmentation onlay graft. While this might be beneficial and indicated in revisions or persons with thin skin, it is unnecessary in cases where a solid cartilage graft can be placed under normal or thicker skin. In the latter cases it simply requires that the surgeon be skilled at carving the dorsal graft and meticulous. It is my opinion that a solid structural graft provides more definition than a wrapped fascia graft.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fascia Grafting in Rhinoplasty Surgery

Fascia, which is usually harvested from under the temporal scalp, is frequently placed in both primary and revision rhinoplasty. Alone it can be used to augment the nose or when combined with cartilage grafts it will help to avoid visible sharp edges of firm cartilage. There are always risks when placing grafts in the nose but using both materials will not increase the possibility of complications.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ear cartilage for primary rhinoplasty

  Ear cartilage is a second vest type of cartilage used for rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. It is always best to use nasal cartilage for a primary rhinoplasty when cartilage grafting is required. Nasal cartilage is a much better grafting source when required to augment the nose. Fascia is an additional tissue that can be harvested to  wrap around  the graft to make  it feel softer.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Pros and cons of fascia grafting in rhinoplasty

The potential risks of using cartilage and fascia are as follow:

1) Asymmetry
2) Irregularities
3) Infection

Keep in mind that the risk of infection is dramatically lower when using your own natural tissue and cartilage compared to using an artificial implant. They are readily accepted by your body, and yield a natural result. It is perfectly normal to use autologous tissue and cartilage for a primary rhinoplasty, they are not just for revisions. The healing time will not be any different. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with your surgery.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Fascia grafting a plus in nasal surgery

Fascia grafting has been around for years with good, but not long lasting results. A new material, called ADM (acellular dermal matrix) which comes from donor skin, is a sheet of human collagen that can be wrapped around diced cartilage and used to augment the nasal bridge, as well as soften the bony ledges, and has become more useful and predictable. The only negatives are a moderate increased cost factor and a longer post op duration of mild swelling, so that patients need to be patient for several months before realizing their new optimal results.

Maurice P. Sherman, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fascia Grafting in Rhinoplasty

Building up the bridge can be done with several different materials. Implants can consist of, ear cartilage, septal cartilage, rib cartilage, or fascia. Potential complications include infection, hematoma, asymmetry, loss of a portion of the graft, need for another procedure. These materials are commonly used in primary and revision surgery. Healing time is roughly similar for the different materials.

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fascia and cartilage grafting

It sounds like you are having a "turkish delight' which is diced cartilage with fascia wrapped around it to augment the dorsum. This is sometimes used for primary rhinoplasty.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Using temporalis fascia with rhinoplasty

Using temporalis fascia is a great option to build the bridge during rhinoplasty, and can yield a fantastic result. Temporalis fascia can be used during primary or revision rhinoplasty. Your initial recovery will be the same following surgery.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Fascia and cartilage graft

These are acceptable ways of building up the bridge if that needs to be done. Make sure your surgeon is experienced with rhinoplasty especially ethnic rhino.  

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fascia and certilage grafts with a rhinoplasty

  In general, fascia and cartilage grafts are perfectly acceptable for augmenting certain aspects of the nose.  There is longer jealing , and prolonged swelling with the graft procedures. The main danger is displacement of the grafts in the healing process.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 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.