Is It Possible to Grow Cartilage Cell Cultures for Rhinoplasty if There Isn't Enough?

Especially in asian rhinoplasty, it is difficult to build the bridge with just ear/septal cartilage. Because there are problems with using rib/cadaveric cartilage, is it possible to just grow one's own cartilage in a cell culture if there isnt enough cartilage to be harvested?

Doctor Answers 6

Using Cartilage Grafts grown in Culture for Nose Surgery

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Although we are increasingly able to grow cartilage in culture the grafts are not stiff enough and thick enough to act as a suitable nasal graft. In your case the most suitable graft would be rib cartilage which may be obtained through a small incision placed under the breast. Dr. Peter Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Growing your own cartilage graft in rhinoplasty not a reality yet

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Tissue culture has advanced in skin coverage for burns, and cartilage grafts may be on the horizon. None are yet available to cultured grafts for rhinoplasty. Just think of the potential for joint repair when we succeed!

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Cartilage cell culture for rhinoplasty use

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Current technology does not allow us to grow cartilage in a petri dish. At this point, the patients nasal cartilage is what’s available for cosmetic surgery. With Asian rhinoplasty there is usually not enough cartilage on the inside of the nose, so augmentation requires a synthetic implant. We prefer the silastic Flowers nasal dorsal implant made by Implantech.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Cartilage Cell Cultures for Nasal Augmentation

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At this time cartilage cell cultures for nasal augmentation are not effective or practical. Presently, the best alternatives are silicone implants, which I rarely use, or septal, ear, and rib cartilage. I've been very satisfied using the patient's own tissue.

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

Rhinoplasty, Revision rhinoplasty,cosmetic surgery, facial plastic surgery, Dr. Whitfield,

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The use of stem cells is being intensively studied by numerous investigators.  There is currently no study for the use of cartilage grown from stem cells to be implanted in a person in the United States.

Asian Rhinoplasty and Cartilage Grafting

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Great idea. But, unfortunately, science is just not quite there yet. There are many great minds working on this exact thing. In fact, some of the leaders in the field of cartilage engineering are here in San Diego working at UCSD. Until this technology advances sufficiently, you may want to consider having a rib graft (autologous or cadaveric) to augment your nasal bridge during rhinoplasty.

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