Taking out Ear Cartilage (nose Grafts) from Previous Rhinoplasty Procedure?

I had ear cartilage(nose grafts) inserted in my nose to give the nose an extension and more definition. It's now been a almost five years since the procedure and after a few revisions here and there, my nose still looks unnatural. It looks very natural and well done in photographs, but in real life, it just for some reason looks fake. I'm not happy about it, and everywhere I go it's like a target on my face. What would happen if I take the grafts out of my nose? Will my nose look odd or worse?

Doctor Answers 7

It's important to know why your nose looks fake.

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

If you are still not satisfied with your nose aesthetics after rhinoplasy and "a few revisions here and there", and "it looks very natural and well done in photographs", you first want to be certain the next revision is warranted.

Having said this, if another revision is indicated, you may not need to have the graft completely removed but perhaps contoured to achieve your desired outcome. 

Knowing why your nose looks "fake" in person is critical for you and your surgeon to make the right decision.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Removal of the grafts may cause the nose to look less defined

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

It is hard to know without seeing your nose and understanding what grafts were placed.  In general, graft in the tip for Asian rhinoplasty provide some increased projection to the tip, either as an onlay graft or as a structure graft that allows your native tip cartilages to be repositioned more forward.  In either case, if the graft(s) are removed you may lose some projection and refinement.  Depening on the nose, a revision may be able to be performed to smooth contours or adjust the shape without losing projection or refinement.  Hope this helps.

David W. Kim, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Removing Ear Cartilager Grafts after Rhinoplasty

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

You say that your nose looks "natural" in photographs; therefore the only way we can answer your question is to examine you. I suggest you have a consultation with somebody on this panel who is close to you.  

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

Ear Cartilage Graft for Asian Rhinoplasty

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


Most of the ear cartilage used for Asian rhinoplasty is for augmenting and refining the tip. If after 5 years you are still unhappy with the result, it's best to seek a second opinion. What you describe is quite common after Asian rhinoplasty. Often it's because the nose itself looks fine but may not match well with rest of your facial features. It's critical when considering rhinoplasty to anticipate how it would match up with rest of your facial features. 

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cartilage Grafts in Rhinoplasty

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

Cartilage grafts are frequently used in rhinoplasty surgery.  The grafts can provide structural support or cosmetic contour.  If they provide support then removing them could not only affect your appearance but also your nasal breathing.  If the grafts are onlay grafts to refine the appearance only, then removing them should not affect your breathing.  In general ear cartilage is not as strong as nasal septal cartilage or rib cartilage and therefore is not as commonly used when significant structural support is needed.


Jill Hessler, MD
Palo Alto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Removal of cartilage grafts

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

It depends on whether the cartilage grafts are providing support to you nose.  Most likely there will be some changes either good or bad.  See a Board Certified Surgeon who does rhinoplasty for an evaluation.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Nose and results

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

Without an exam it is diffficult to evaluate whether or not a revision will be helpful to you.  It is best to go for a consultation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.