Ear Cartilage Vs Implant for Flat Bridge and Wide Nose

The surgeon I consulted with said he doesn't want to use rib cartilage, and that I probably don't have enough ear cartilage to use. Is an implant a good option?

Doctor Answers 4

Implant vs cartilage graft for nasal surgery

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I am not a big fan of nasal implants.  I routinely use rib cartilage to enhance the dorsum of the nose.  Ear cartilage will not be sufficient.  Rib cartilage is the best choice.  It does hurt more after the surgery and it will leave a scar along your rib cage.  In my estimation it is worth it.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Implant good option when not enough cartilage is available

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While silastic implants are an option for the nose, it is best to at least attempt to have the patient’s own cartilage used first to build up the bridge of the nose.  If this is a cartilage-depleted nose, then you can consider augmentation with synthetic materials.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Cartilage vs implant for flat nasal bridge

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Either cartilage or implants (silastic) can be use to raise a flat nasal bridge.  Although cartilage is your own tissue it can be difficult to form in the right shape and can warp over time.  Also, as your surgeon mentioned, you may have a shortage of cartilage and therefore create a defect in the donor site, if a large piece were needed.  Silastic implants come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and in most cases I prefer an implant over cartilage to enhance a nasal bridge.   The down side of using  an implant is that if an infection were to occur, it could necessitate the removal of the implant.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

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Facial nasal implants

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Each type of material synthetic or cartilage for nasal bridge augmentation has its own pros and cons. Within the family of synthetic implants there are implants made of silicone, goretex or porous polyethylene and again each of those have pros and cons. Based on individual experience different doctors prefer different implants. Given the thick nasal skin that you have an implant is not a bad option. The next question should be which type of implant.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles 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.