Will Ear Cartilage in Tip for Rhino Augmentation Feel Soft and Flexible? Almost Like Original Nose?

I had rhinoplasty 3 years ago using L shaped silicone, and my tip now is super hard. And I hate it because everyone who touch my tip will know I had work done. Some doctors said if I choose to revise with rib for bridge and ear cartilage for tip, then my tip will feel softer almost like the untouched nose. However some doctors said that though ear cartilage is used the nose tip will remain hard and firm forever. I don't know which one is true? Can you give me an honest opinion? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

Nasal Septal Cartilage or Ear Cartilage Best For Rhinoplasty Tip Graft

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.  Most commonly nasal septal cartilage or ear cartilage is used for tip grafting.  Using your own cartilage to revise your nasal tip should produce a softer more natural result than a silicon graft.

Nasal septal cartilage is by far the most common material used for tip grafting during rhinoplasty.  If however you have had an SMR and have no available septal cartilage left, the ear cartilage graft should work well.

Grafts or implants for rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Silicone grafts can be undesirable for exactly the reasons your mention: they feel hard and unnatural. They can also be at a risk for infection or extrusion (coming through skin) down the line. Rib cartilage is a good substitute but can also feel hard. Ear cartilage is a little softer and feels more natural than rib or silicone. Septal cartilage is also softer.  I hope this helps. 


Dr. Richard Zoumalan

Facial Plastic Surgeon

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Rhinoplasty - Tip Augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unfortunately you are not alone.  This is a common request for patients undergoing revision rhinoplasty.  I do not use silicone implants in the nose because of the risks of migration, infection, unnatural appearance, etc.  Cartilage placed on your nasal tip can be soft and natural to the touch depending on how it is prepared and placed in your nose.  Strengthening the support of the nasal tip will prevent the tip from collapsing but that is different from having a stiff tip.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you in achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Rhinoplasty exchanging silicone implant for rib and ear cartilage

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 An L-shaped strut does feel quite stiff in the nose, and consequently we did not use them. We use small silastic (Flowers)nasal dorsal implants as a simple wafer to add  height to the nasal bridge, and they tend to feel quite natural.   Rib cartilage is hard and stiff and tends to ossify and become more stiff as people age. Ear cartilage is also more stiff in the nose the nasal cartilage. 

Revision Rhinoplasty for L Shaped Silicone Graft

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


There are many different ways of fixing your problem. Silicone implants come in several different durometers ( thicknesses and softness). L shaped silicone grafts are notorious for looking and feeling bad under the skin , I have removed many of them. Cartlilage grafts may not give you same shape and volume that a silicone graft can.See link below for further explanation.



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.