Rhinoplasty, What Does Resorption of Grafts Mean?

In regards to rhinoplasty, what does resorption of grafts mean? I have a cartilage tip graft and strut, and how would I know if they were resorbed or not?

Doctor Answers 6

Resorption of cartilage graft in the nose

On rare occasions cartilage grafts that are placed inside the nose do not get nourishment from surrounding tissues, the graft breaks down and disappears.  If that should occur, they need to be redone.  If there is an obvious divot or depression in the nose from where the graft was previously placed, that might be indicative of having graft resorption.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Still Numb 3 Hours After Lip Augmentation with Juvederm, is this Normal?

  Resorption of grafts means the grafting material(s) begin to dissolve making the nose appear asymmetric, collapsed or otherwise distorted as the shape created, during the Rhinoplasty, changes.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Graft resorption may be treated with fillers

Most rhinoplasty grafts are made of the patient's cartilage.  Tip grafts give shape and definition to the nasal tip.  Strut grafts give support to the nasal tip from below.  There are several  changes that may occur after the placement of grafts. 

  1. The grafts may move or shift,
  2. The effects may be changed by scar tissue
  3. The grafts may decrease in size (resorption or absorption by the body)

If the effects of the grafts have been lost or altered or you just aren't happy with the current shape of your nose, consider trying a non-surgical solution.  Fillers may be placed to improve the tip shape and camouflage a nasal bump.

Non-surgical rhinoplasty is a great option for revision cases, because it avoids a lot of the risk involved with multiple operations.

Good luck in your search for information!

David C. Mabrie, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Rhinoplasty and graft resorption

Graft resorption means that the tissue or material used as a graft gets absorbed by the body over time after it has been placed.  Typically, this does not occur when your own cartilage is used.

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Resorption of Grafts after Rhinoplasty

'Resorption' of grafts means they are absorbed after placement. This is least likely when the patient's own cartilage is used. You would see a change in nasal appearance if the grafts did absorb.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


Any autograft can undergo partial or complete absorbtion. Allogrrafts will not. If your nose looks good leave it alone or at least ask your surgeon

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 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.