Ear Cartilage Graft for Dent in Nose - Simple Minor Surgery or More Major, Complicated Surgery?

I have a dent in my nose. It's going to require an ear cartilage graft according to my doctor (this will be my third rhinoplasty- I guess the septal cartiage has been depleted.) The nose won't require rebreaking. Is this a technically simple procedure with easy recovery? Can it be done under local anesthesia? Would the recovery time be shorter since the nose isn't being broken?

Doctor Answers 5

Revision Rhinoplasty

If this is your third operation, then it's probably not as simple as it might seem. Small dents on the bridge of the nose can be improved with the injection of dermal fillers. Long lasting solution require cartilage grafts. These procedures can be performed with light sedation/local anesthesia and typically will not be associated with the amount of discomfort or swelling that fracturing the nose can cause.  Best of Luck   Dr Harrell

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Ear Cartilage Graft for Dent in Nose - Simple Minor Surgery or More Major, Complicated Surgery?

         Obtaining, shaping, placing, and securing the cartilage is not difficult.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty is complicated

  Tertiary rhinoplasty is very difficult  due to previous scar tissue, and previous surgical manipulations. Minor little dents in the nose  usually only require  minor surgery to correct them.  Look for a very experienced rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgeon  for best results

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

Ear Cartilage Graft for Dent in Nose - Simple Minor Surgery or More Major, Complicated Surgery?

Harvesting an ear cartilage graft and placing it into a "dent" in the nose is straight-forward. However, ensuring a smooth contour following surgery and preventing the graft from moving is a challenge. This procedure can be done under local anesthesia or IV sedation, in most cases. If you have any doubts about your surgeon, you would be best served by seeking a highly experienced rhinoplasty specialist. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Weber Facial Plastic Surgery

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Rhinoplasty with ear cartilage

Thank you for your question about tertiary rhinoplasty - 3rd time around.

  • Tertiary rhinoplasties are challenging operations.
  • They require an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon and may not succeed.
  • Recovery from ear cartilage grafting to the nose is usually easy - the ear may hurt more than the nose. 
  • There are rhinoplasty and ear bandages for about 5 days.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.