Why Does Ear Cartilage Added to Bridge Look Narrow?

My Doctor added cartilage from my ear to build up the bridge, which was too low from a surgery years ago. It's too straight, and much narrower than the rest of my bridge, not natural. Wouldn't ear cartilage always be thin? He didn't want to go back and soften it.

Doctor Answers 3

Ear cartilage isn't nasal cartilage

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Which is too bad really. Its inferior to septal cartilage in several ways. One problem is it starts out twisted. This is OK for certain uses, but not great for the bridge of the nose. So often to make it straighter, its 'morcelized' or hit repeatedly with a hammer, just like you tenderize a poor cut of meat. Unfortunately this can damage the cartilage and increase the likelihood of absorption, which is an issue at all times anyway. This is one explanation. Another is the amount that can be harvested.

Its often not enough depending on the size of the nose. Finally the quality of ear cartilage is such that its difficult to sculpt, so feathering the edges is technically a challenge at times. This could make your bridge have defined edges and look narrow. Bottom line- since there are many reasons for your poor result, you need to see an experienced nasal surgeon to sort all this out. 

Narrow Bridge after Placement of Ear Cartilage

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The appearance of your bridge has nothing to do with the source of the cartilage graft. Over the past 35 years i have seen consults who complained that their bridges were too wide after ear cartilage grafts. See an experienced revision surgeon to determine what should be done at this time. More cartilage or fascia grafts may be necessary.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Ear cartilage to the nose looks narrow and why.

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If the graft is made narrow or absorbs slightly, it will look narrow. See a revision rhinoplasty expert who can advise you about what to do after examining your nose. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.