Overprojection and Hard Tip Resulting from Columella Strut

Hi, I had an open revision rhinoplasty approximately 3 months ago consisting of: 1. A dorsal rib cartilage/perichondrium graft. 2. Spreader grafts. 3. A columellar strut to correct a droopy, under-projected tip. My nose has a hump, is stiff, feels over-grafted, over-projected. I am dissatisfied with the aesthetics. My tip is also hard as a rock from the strut and very painful. Are these issues correctable and is it possible for me to regain a natural looking/feeling nose?

Doctor Answers 12

Stiff Nose After Rib Graft Is Normal

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It is completely normal to have a stiff nose/tip after a rhinoplasty, especially after a revision rhinoplasty where a rib graft is employed.  Post operative swelling is significant for a year or more in all rhinoplasties, and more so in revisions.  The rib graft is a stiff type of cartilage which will also contribute to your symptoms.  Further, it is not uncommon for a small metal wire to be inserted inside the rib graft to prevent a common problem of these type of grafts: warping.  If this is the case, you will always have a very stiff nose/tip. 

The other issue you are describing may also need attention too: persistent hump.  If after one year you are still dissatisfied with the appearance and stiffness of your nose, a revision may be necessary.  If that is the case, removing the wire along with shaving the graft may be the remedy.

Be patient, and folllow up with your surgeon regularly.

Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Overprojection and Hard Tip Resulting from Columella Strut

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3 months after secondary rhinoplasty is not enough time  for soft  tissue final prediction but it is enough time to have a good idea of the nasal shape.If you're not pleased by now you will probably  seek another revisional surgery .

Look for a very good rhinoplastic surgeon,it is a very tough procedure third time around.

Erel Laufer, MD
Dunedin Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty Options

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Revision rhinoplasty is one of the most complicated operations we perform, and a rib graft is a major revision. Not liking the aesthetics of the nose can only be determined by looking at the before and after images one year from your surgery.  Some of your complaints may improve with time. If the nose has been made too large then a revision may be needed, but was your nose made that large to accommodate the amount of skin?  Firmness is often related to excess swelling that should improve as the nose heals.  This surgery requires patience and frequent visits with your operating physician. Photos can be helpful, but no formal decision should be made until you reach a year.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD, FACS

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Stiff Nose

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This are all excellent questions. Because of the timing after your revision surgery it is hard to give an accurate opinion about what the final result will be. Three months after a revision rhinoplasty I would expect for the nose to be stiff, and bigger than I would wanted to look. However you should not have pain at this stage, so you may want to follow up with your surgeon for him to examine you.

The appearance of your nose will change in the next several months as the swelling subsides, but it will take months. I would be patient and at 12 months from your surgery, i would re-assses how your nose looks and feel. If at that time your are still very unhappy, another revision may need to be performed.

Best of luck, 

Michel Siegel, MD

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

Revision rhinoplasty with rib graft will improve with time

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Your experience after a revision rhinoplasty with rib graft is very common. Initially the nose feel stiff and over projected as you describe. However after a year to a year and a half I am always amazed that the results definitely improve, look more natural, and are less stiff. Be sure to consult your plastic surgeon

Overprojection and Hard Tip Resulting from Columella Strut

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The stiff tip and your other concerns are not uncommon after rib grafting in revision rhinoplasty.  Wait at least 6-9 months before you assess the final result.  If necessary rib grafts can be trimmed and modified but hopefully that won't be necessary.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Hard Tip Seconjdary to Columellar Strut after Revision Rhinoplasty

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None of your concerns surprise me 3 months after extensive grafting during your revision rhinoplasty. Your nose will continue to improve for at least 1 year after surgery. However, the tip pain is not normal; discuss this with your surgeon. Hopefully additional surgery will not be necesssary.

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

Stiff rib graft after revision rhinoplasty

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By definition, the rib graft to the dorsum will be stiff in order to provide the support to the bridge after revision rhinoplasty. The rib cartilage is the least 'natural' of cartilage graft material, and can feel or behave much like a nasal implant, though the results over time are far better. Your nose may indeed be over grafted and the aesthetics may be 'all wrong'. Despite all this, it is best to wait it out six to twelve months and let the grafts settle in. Revision may be the answer but the graft will offer a working framework to soften and adjust the result.

Best of luck,


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

Hard firm nose

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After a rib cartilage graft and placement of spreader grafts, especially in an open, revision case will almost always result in a firm nose which may feel overprojected. Swelling will tend to build up in the tip area and can take up to two years to completely resolve. You should start noticing some softening of the tip over the next few months. I would not rush to perform any revisions before the swelling has come down. For revision nose surgery, the nose is often weakened from the initial procedure and rib cartilage used to add structural support to avoid further weakening and possible collapse in the long term.

Gregory J. Vipond, MD, FRCSC
Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon

Overprojection and hard tip after rhinoplasty.

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Overprojection and hard tip after rhinoplasty is normal and should go down over the next 9 months. If not it can be corrected by a revision rhinoplasty experienced surgeon. Wait at least 3 more months before evaluation.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.