Is Ear Cartilage Used in the Nose Soft to Touch?

I had a rhinoplasty and it did not turn out how I had hoped for.My tip is now pinched and pointy,something which upsets me.I have been told I will need grafts to fill my tip out and ear will probably be the area of choice.I am just worried that my tip will lose its suppleness.I have spoken to one person who said that their nose remained soft even with ear cartilage grafts and mobile.Is that possible.?I dread to think of the possiblity I will end up with an unnatural stiff nose on my face.

Doctor Answers 7

Ear cartilage in nose is not soft to touch

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Ear cartilage is not the same type of cartilage as nose cartilage.  Ear cartilage is stiffer than nasal cartilage, so when used in the nose it can lead to a wood-like feel to the nose.  This is especially accentuated in the tip because of the soft tissues.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

"Pinched Tip"

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Much of my practice is dedicated to revisional rhinoplasty. Although a "pinched" nasal tip can be corrected with ear cartilage, I have had success in select patients without the use of any cartilage. My approach involves a "closed technique", meaning no incisions to the outside of the nose. I have found it helpful to also use the patient's photos (taken at the time of consultation), and with the use of imaging software, to show the patient what they can expect to achieve.  It is important to be seen by a plastic surgeon who has experience with revisional rhinoplasty.


Good luck

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Ear cartilage

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Ear cartilage works beautifully in the nasal tip. It has convex shape and is soft and pliable. don't worry about it.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Is Ear Cartilage Used in the Nose Soft to Touch?

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Is Ear Cartilage Used in the Nose Soft to Touch?

I have performed Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and IMHO, ear cartilage is the very best grafting material for the nasal tip.  Of all other grafts, IMO, ear cartilage will be the best option for a soft, yet reliable tip graft.  I have used it many times and continue to do so.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Pointy tip after Revision Rhinoplasty

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Ear cartilage is one option. Often temporalis fascia (which is softer) can also be used, but swelling may take awhile to resolve in either case. If done well, with contoured edges, any graft should look and feel natural over time.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ear Cartilage in revision Rhinoplasty

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For patients who have had prior surgery, adequate nasal cartilage may not be available to provide either form or structure in further procedures. Ear cartilage works well, and can be sculpted with softer edges to help rebuild the tip area. This is an excellent long-term graft, and has stood the test of time. The donor defect of the ear is not visible, but the area may feel softer to touch.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Revising tip with ear cartilage

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It sounds like an addition of cartilage to your tip is necessary.  I prefer ear cartilage as well.  The tip of the nose will be stiff for several months but will eventually be as soft as it is now.  I would recommend an open tip rhinoplasty to get precise placement of the tip elements.

Wishing you All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.