Exposed Septum Cartilage After Rhinoplasty?

I am one month post op from a rhinoplasty, a few days ago I was feeling bad pain on one side of my septum and started using vasaline on it, which helped stop the pain completely, but today I looked closer and noticed that I have exposed cartilage on my septum where I was feeling the pain. Is this normal one month post op? If not how is it fixed?

Doctor Answers 8

Exposed Cartilage after Rhinoplasty

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     You need an exam to determine if this is exposed cartilage.  Exposed cartilage is not normal.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Exposed cartilage after rhinoplasty

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Exposed cartilage is not common after rhinoseptoplasty.  In some cases a small area may granulate over and in other cases the cartilage may require removal.  See you surgeon.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Visible Cartilage After Surgery

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Nikka, you need to see your surgeon as soon as possible. This type of finding in terms of visible cartilage is not normal and needs to be addressed.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Exposed Septal Cartilage

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 No, this is not normal. Keep the area moist with a lubricant (Vaseline, Aquaphore, etc.), and get back to your surgeon for care and treatment. The area could close in on itself if it is small. More commonly the septal cartilage will have to excised/ removed. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

Septum exposed after rhinoplasty

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Exposed septal cartilage one month after rhinoplasty is a bit alarming and as other have advised you should keep the tissue moist with saline spray. You should also see your surgeon right away, for the exposed cartilage will not often survive and can lead to a septal perforation.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Exposed cartilage after rhinoplasty is not normal.

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Exposed cartilage after rhinoplasty is not normal. You should see your surgeon to get this evaluated now.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Exposed septal cartilage after rhinoplasty

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It isn't typical to have exposed cartilage on the septum after rhinoplasty surgery. You should have the area checked out by your surgeon to look into this further and see what you should do next. Keeping the area moist with saline spray and saline gel should help with the healing process in the meantime.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Exposed septal cartilage after rhinoplasty

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Although exposed septal cartilage is not a common post-op sequelae, it can happen.

What to do about it? It depends how much exposure there is. Sometimes the mucosa, or internal nasal lining, will grow over to cover the exposed portion. However, if it is a large portion of cartilage, it may remain exposed.

I would recommend keeping the area moisturized with Saline spray several times/day and have close follow up with your Doctor. He may determine that another surgery is required if the exposure is large and you have persistent symptoms.

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 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.