Can you do a secondary rib cartilage graft for rhinoplasty?

I had my first rib cartilage graft a couple years ago, but would like a revision. Would a second rib cartilage graft be used or is it possible to re-use the cartilage in my nose already?

Doctor Answers 6

Rib graft revision

Rib graft revisions are required most often after use of a rib block graft that warps; now your nose rib grafting is done using diced cartilage which is wrapped like a burrito and thus not prone to warping; I would recommend you consider use of an organ donated rib graft which will save you unnecessary operative time needed to harvest the graft as well as avoid prolonged recovery time. This cartilage is safe and inexpensive. There is no way of knowing if your rib graft is usable or not until we remove it, but I wouldn't count on it as it has likely resorbed if it is unstable or warping.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty: sources of cartilage

Revision or Secondary rhinoplasty is a surgery to change the shape of your nose after you have already had a previous rhinoplasty. 

Depending on the goals of the surgery, you may or may not need additional cartilage grafts. In revision surgery, grafts may be removed, adjusted, or repurposed for other grafts. If there is a need for a graft that is long and strong, another rib may be harvested. It may be harvested from the same side as the previous rib harvest or the surgeon may go to the other side. I would recommend talking to the surgeon who did your first rib harvest rhinoplasty or surgeon who is experienced in revision rhinoplasty and rib cartilage harvest. Safety comes first.

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty with Rib Cartilage

Depending on how much rib cartilage was used in your initial surgery, the cartilage can be reused and may be sufficient for what you are trying to achieve.  It all depends on how much cartilage is needed to obtain the results you seek.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can help you achieve the results you seek.  3-dimensional computer imaging can also help you visualize what you may look like afterwards and serve as an important communication tool with your surgeon.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Reuse of rib cartilage?

You should NOT need another rib graft. The rib graft u have can be reshaped and septal or ear cartilage can be added if needed.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Revision rib cartilage harvest for rhinoplasty

If you were interested in undergoing an additional rhinoplasty procedure that required more cartilage then you would likely need to undergo a second rib cartilage harvest.  The cartilage within your nose may be able to be salvaged but I wouldn't depend on that. Good luck!

Justin Cohen, MD
Washington DC Otolaryngologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rib cartilage

Hi jam35r2, Thanks for your question. This is highly dependent on the individual case and how much cartilage was used from your first rib graft surgery. If enough was placed, you can probably use the cartilage that is in the nose. Good luck!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 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.