How Big Is The Scar On My Chest After Rib Graft Revision Rhinoplasty?

HI Doctors I need a revision (Rib Graft ) rhinoplasty after a previous one had left me without a bridge ... My only concern is the scar on my chest , how big is the scar and can it be treated ? also how much dose it cost and the most important question do I find a rhinoplasty expert who have experience using rib and also performing revision rhinoplasty ... I live in Los Angeles if you have any suggestion please let me know .I need a good DOCTOR ...thank you

Doctor Answers 8

Rib rhinoplasty scar length

The scar in rib rhinoplasty varies by patient's body type and surgeon's experience harvesting rib.  Larger patients often require a larger incision.  A downside to a larger scar is patient's seem to have more discomfort post operatively and the scar can be more visible.  Surgeon's scar length will vary from 1 to 8 cm based on their experience.  Most experienced rib rhinoplasty surgeon's utilize a 1-3 cm incision.

Cartilage in rhinoplasty is used for support and structure to the nose. The three most commonly used donor areas in rhinoplasty are
  1. Septal cartilage (often missing in revision rhinoplasty) and made of fibroelastic cartilage
  2. Ear cartilage -softer cartilage and is elastic type of cartilage (hence softer and likely to bend)
  3. Rib or costal cartilage- firmer cartilage and similar in makeup as septal cartilage
The main risks of harvesting costal cartilage are as follows:
  • Warping-This risk can be minimized with experience of carving rhinoplasty, patients with calcifications in the rib, and the location and type of graft placement
  • Scar- The scar size can be minimized based on the patient's body type (thinner patients can have a smaller scar) and surgeon's experience with more advanced surgeon's harvesting from 1-3 cm rib scars
  • Pneumothorax- This is where a lung deflates since the surgeon is working around the rib site. This is rare but the surgeon must be able to handle this risk.
  • Breast implant violation- Patients with breast implants may be at risk for a "popped" implant although this is unlikely
Although there are some risks with rib cartilage, the benefits can often outweigh the risks as it costal cartilage is strong and abundant in younger and middle aged patients. For revision rhinoplasty, patients should seek out surgeons with experience in using rib cartilage as results may be compromised without enough cartilage or the sole use of ear cartilage in certain circumstances.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Rib graft and revision rhinoplasty

The scar left after harvesting rib cartilage is minimal. The cost of a revision rhinoplasty can range from $12,000 - $20,000 depending on the individual circumstances of the patient. When looking for board certified revision rhinoplasty specialists in the area, take a look at their before and after photos for revision cases. It may state whether rib cartilage was used. This can give you an idea of how frequently the surgeon uses the technique. In general, when looking for a revision rhinoplasty specialist, you will want to take the following into consideration: 1) They have many before and after photos so you can get an idea of the surgeon's results. 2) Great patient testimonials. 3) Fantastic credentials and a good amount of experience. Please feel free to ask any additional questions. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty

I'm sorry to hear you will need a revision rhinoplasty.  While it's not clear what needs to be done in your revision (other than building a bridge), there may be other options for cartilage other than rib.  For example, if dorsal augmentation is needed, ear cartilage may be an option.  If you do need rib cartilage, the incision is approximately 2 inches and special post-operative treatment can help minimize scarring.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you in achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Rib Graft for revision rhinoplasty

Rib grafting is an option for nasal reconstruction if you have a  cartilage depleted nose and ears. Always use nose and ear cartilage first before obtaining a rib. The scar for a rib harvest will be approx 3 inches long. 

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

Rib Harvest Scar

    The scar can be hidden in the inframammary fold and it is a few cm long.  You may or may not need rib graft for your particular problem.  You should be examined by to determine if this is your best option.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Rb Cartilage Graft for Revision Rhinoplasty

The rib graft harvest is done on the bottom end of the rib cage known as the subcostal area. Depending upon the amount of rib graft needed and how heavy or thin you are, the size of the incision could be anywhere from 3 to 4.5 cms long along the subcostal margin. The number of plastic surgeons that perform rhinoplasty with rib grafts is smaller than the overall number of plastic surgeons who perform rhinoplasty in general. A cost estimate is impossible to give based on your description alone. The best way to get a more accurate cost number is to send some photos to plastic surgeons and describe your needs. Seeing your nose is more helpful that just describing it.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Scar from rib cartilage harvesting

The scar from a rib cartilage harvest for rhinoplasty is usually only a few centimeters long.  In a femal it can often be hidden under the breast.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty without rib graft.

The scar is about 2 inches and painful and unless your entire bridge is gone you do NOT need it. Surgeons charge more when doing a rib graft. For 35 years I have been able to make a new bridge with septal and/or ear cartilage

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 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.