I Had a Nasal Reconstruction on 12/14/12 with a Rib Cartilage Graft?

I am so disappointed and look far worse than before. The swelling does not seem to be going down. My nose that was flat before is now wavy and has multiple bumps. I cannot breathe at all and never had previous breathing problems. The reason for my getting this surgery in the first place was that I had a slight bone protruding from a lack of cartilage. I never wanted any cosmetic enhancement and now my nose is completely different. Is it normal for my nose to look so much worse than before?

Doctor Answers 5

Unhappy with results

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It is difficult to answer your question with the information you provide.I will say that 4 weeks is very early yo judge the results. The inner lining of the nose is still swollen.

Nasal reconstruction and rib cartilage

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It is a bit unclear why you had a dorsal augmentation. Photographs would help to delineate your concerns.

Nasal Reconstruction With Rib Cartilage Graft #nosejob

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It is extremely difficult to give you precise comments given that there are no photographs here. I can tell you that swelling lasts many months. If you are having rib grafts then you really had some things going on in your nose that necessitated this surgery. I am not sure what your original goals were but your surgeon would not have used rib if it was not necessary. Have you had other nasal surgeries where your other cartilages were used? I would advise you to allow your swelling a good six weeks for about 95% of it to go away. The last 5% will take up to a year to resolve. After about six months or so you should meet with your surgeon to see if anything else needs to be done. Communication is key in these situations. I am sure your surgeon wants you to be happy so just communicate with them. Good luck!

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It takes a long time in many cases for the final result to present itself, especially if your surgery was significantly involved enough to require rib grafting. Watch your salt intake as it will affect your swelling and give it time.  It is possible there is a problem with the graft warping but it is likely too early to tell at this point.

Colin Pero, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

To rib graft or not to rib graft in rhinoplasty?

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Was this a straight piece or diced cartilage fascia graft? Swelling with rib grafts or any grafting is sometimes more than when grafts are not used. Be patient. However, if there is bumpiness, then that could be pieces of cartilage poking through or irregularities (uneven) textures of the rib itself. It all depends on whether fascia was used to wrap the rib or a straight piece was inserted. If there is poking through and uneven areas at around 3 to 6 months still, then it may require a revision procedure.  Sometimes, it is beneficial to take out the rib graft and dice it, wrap in fascia (sheet of tissue over temple muscle) and replace it back. This allows for molding and creating a smooth texture with less chance of bumps etc. For now, be patients, trust your surgeon and re address this at around 6 months.


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