What is the Process of Using Cartilage to Lengthen the Nose?

Which is the best way to add length to my nose? When ear cartilage is being used where exactly does the cartilage come from? Will my ear be weird looking? What exactly is the procedure to add length to a nose?

Doctor Answers 6

What is the Process of Using Cartilage to Lengthen the Nose?

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 IMHO, conchal cartilage, from the ear, offers the best method of elongating the nasal tip and nose in general.  Aesthetically, the nose apperas longer or shorter as the angle, of the nasl tip is decreased or increased.  I have always used a posteriorly placed incision, within the crease behind the ear, to remove the conchal cartilage.  

 Taking the cartilage should not change the appearance, of the ear but it will come closer towards the head.  For that reason, I take the ear cartilage from whatever ear sticks out farther from the head.  The conchal cartilage is shaped and then secured to the nasal tip with tissue glue.  Sutures can be used but historically can create localized inflammation years later and for that reason, I stopped using them to secure tip cartilage grafts 15 years ago.

The conchal cartilage graft, to the nasal tip is most often combined with a Columellar tuck, during the Open Rhinoplasty, to further portray a longer nose appearance.  Hope this helps.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Using cartilage to lengthen the nose

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There are several ways in which a nose can be lengthened.  Your specific nasal anatomy will dictate which procedures will be necessary to achieve your goals.  When cartilage is used, the donor site is typically the nasal septum or ear, and in more difficult cases, rib cartilage can be utilized.  Cartilage is usually taken from the ear within the "bowl" region near the attachment to the head so that the end result will be well hidden.

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Adding length to a nose

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There are several ways to add length to the nose. The best technique depends on the starting point, which is a patient's anatomy, as well as the overall goal of the surgery.

Tip plasty can be used to de-rotate a nose, which adds length. This is only possible in certain types of noses and depends on the profile height you are trying to balance with the tip.

Other methods all involve cartilage grafts, whether they are taken from your septum or the ear does not matter. The choice depends on whether it is your first procedure and how many grafts are being planned for your procedure.

Cartilage grafts placed below the tip in the columella (the skin that separates the 2 nostrils) to add length.

Also cartilage can be used to extend the septum down, which pushes the tip down, adding length. I would not recommend ear cartilage for this technique, since it is naturally bent and can produce nasal deviation when used in this way. Rib cartilage is also sometimes used for this purpose, but that would be a more extreme case.

Ear cartilage harvest should not change the appearance if done propperly. non-structural cartilage from the deeper part of the ear is taken. At most, the ear may sit 1-2 mm flatter afterwards, so I usually chose the one that sticks out a bit more.

Best of luck

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

How to lengthen the nose

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There are several different ways to lenghten the nose. Most involve adding cartilage to hold the tip in the desired place. I prefer to use septal cartilage because it is usually straight, predictable and easy to get since it's inside your nose.

Nasal length

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It really depends upon what you want to achieve.  Often times the best cartilage to use for grafting purposes is either from the septum or the rib.

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

Noses can be made longer as well as the more common technique of making them shorter

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Patients with high nasal tips, also called a high "naso-labial" angle can have the tips of their noses brought down by using grafts of their own cartilage. This is more common in revision rhinoplasty but also applies to primary rhinoplasty. The nasal tip is a tripod, all three "legs" need to be lengthened. The central leg is the septum, which is lengthened using a caudal septal extension graft. The sides are helping to push down the nostrils, also using grafts for "struts." The source for these grafts can be the nasal septum, ear and in difficult revision cases, a rib. If ear cartilage is used, the cartilage is taken from the flat part of the ear that lies against the head so when it heals there is no change to the way the ear looks at all.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 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.