Removal of Nose Tip Cartilage After Rhinoplasty

I'm 26 years old and recently underwent Rhinoplasty in order to have my nostrils narrowed and my tip defined. My surgeon used my own cartilage (from inside my nose) to build my tip. I understand that it is too early to determine what the final result will look like. But I am concerned that my tip is overly lengthened. Will it be possible to remove this cartilage should I want my tip restored?

Doctor Answers 5

Nose tip cartilage can be removed

Yes, the cartilage can be removed. However, I would advise you give this a lot of time. It is incredible how much swelling the nose can have in the early postoperative period, which can persist for over a year or two before it settles. The longer you wait, the softer the scar tissue becomes, making it generally easier to re-operate later as opposed to sooner.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tip graft can be removed

You are correct in stating that it is too early to judge the final results of your rhinoplasty.  From your description, it sounds like your surgeon placed a tip graft. If it was not sutured in (usually in closed rhinoplasty it isn't), the tip graft can be removed fairly easily.

Armen Vartany, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Old cartilage grafts can be removed.

In the event that full healing has taken place on the nose and indeed the patient does not like their new tip rhinoplasty because it appears longer, old cartilage grafts can be removed from the tip of a nose to restore the tip back to its normal preoperative state.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Patience and Rhinoplasty

In all rhinoplasty surgeries, there is a period of healing that must pass before the result can be judged. If grafts were used to build up the tip, then waiting is even more critical.

All grafts take time to settle and incorporate back into the body. Usually they are a little stiff for the first few months, which can make them seem both more effective and also less natural.

However, over time they soften and the effects of the grafts do decrease. If you wait a little while, I am sure your tip will settle and appear less built up.

Good luck and try to be patient.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Tip Cartilage Grafts After Rhinoplasty


Yes, after about a year if you are still displeased with the size of your tip, the cartilage may be refined, removed, or relocated. It would involve a revision surgery. Let your surgeon know about your concerns, and be patient. Often things settle down over time, and hopefully you won't need further surgery.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.