Ear Cartilage ONLY for Rhinoplasty?

I had adviced to hv ear cartilage ONLY for rhinoplasty by a plastic surgeon For yr information,mine is typically asian bulbous nose with ZERO bridge height What I want actually is a drastic change with a defined tip & high bridge Is it possible to achieve with ONLY ear cartilage for nose job? What I worry is I don't think that ear cartilage is strong enough to withstand my ZERO HEIGHT BRIDGE...Im also very corcern that my new nose will warp and slide away as time goes by..

Doctor Answers 7

Asian Rhinoplasty

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With an extream deep radix, costal or rib cartilage is vital.  You are correct in saying that there may be post operative warping after rhinoplasty with only ear cartilage.  I would find a surgeon who routinely performs rhinoplasty with costal cartilage.  This is the best bet for an ideal long-term result.

Asian Rhinoplasty Video: Ear Cartilage can enhance bridge but is techinically challenging

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The video below illustrates this exact discussion. You can enhance your bridge and refine your tip.  But you might still need some implants to help the situation. You can go on to my website to learn more.  But the ear cartilage can be shaped and used in such a way to make your bridge without an implant there. The implant, however, is a much simpler approach to create your bridge.

Thanks for reading, Dr Young

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Asian rhinoplasty options to increase height of nasal bridge

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There are several options to increase the height of the nasal bridge.  These include ear or rib cartilage which can be enhanced by wrapping the graft with fascia, silastic implants, or more temporary fillers such hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Restylane) or Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse).   Each of these options carries its own advantages and disadvantages.  If you feel you do not have enough ear cartilage for an adequate improvement, I would suggest you get a second opinion from at least one or two other board certified plastic surgeons, who routinely perform Asian rhinoplasty.

Ear Cartilage for Augmentation Rhinoplaasty

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Although ear cartilage is a good choice for augmentation of the Asian nose (I frequently used diced ear cartilage wrapped in fascia), your are correct when you question if there is adequate cartilage available. Ask your surgeon to show you pictures of noses like your with results you like, only using ear cartilage. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Ear Cartilage Alone Might Be Inadequate

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You are right to be concerned that ear cartilage alone might be inadequate to augment the bridge and tip of your nose.

Newer techniques include wrapping the ear cartilage in a bit of fascia, a dense sheet of tissue that is normally overlies muscle. Many surgeons have had good success with this technique in extending the effectiveness of ear cartilage grafts for augmentation of the nose.

If the quantity or quality of ear cartilage is insufficient or inadequate for the correction you seek, alternatives include rib cartilage, bone, or a synthetic material. The choice requires thorough consultation and evaluation with your surgeon.

Second opinion can be helpful, but be prepared for equally qualified experts to disagree on their preferred technique.

Ear Cartilage ONLY for Rhinoplasty?

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You are right, about the ear cartilage. There is not enough of it to achieve an adequate result in Asian rhinoplasty. Best result have been obtained with silastic implant placed in the right pocket under the dome. I have used this on many Asian patients with good long term results comparable to other rhinoplasty.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Asian Rhinoplasty and Grafts

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While I generally agree that natural material is the best option for Rhinoplasty, there are situations in which other choices are preferred.

Using your own tissue limits the long term risks of infection and graft extrusion, or loss. Cartilage grafts also have a limited potential for movement, but, once healed, do not shift.

In contrast, materials like silastic or medpore have sustained and long term risks related to movement and infection. They are typically required for patients seeking significant volume addition to the nose. There is only so much septal and ear cartilage that are present. Rib cartilage can provide more substantial volume correction, but comes at the price of a chest incision and a higher potential for harvest complications.

If you are seeking for significant dorsal augmentation, then rib or silastic implants are probably the best choice. I have had great experiences, however, with cartilage only dorsal augmentation.

Perhaps you should seek another opinion to assist you in the decision making.


All the best


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.