Very Unhappy With Rib Cartilage Harvest Scar- Options?

Hi, I had revision rhinoplasty with rib cartilage. To add to my displeasure with the revision rhinoplasty results, I now have a very unsightly scar in the middle of my chest. The scar is VERY bothersome and looks exactly like a stab wound (I have actually seen better stab wounds than this). The skin has also caved in around the area where the rib cartilage was taken, I look like I am missing a piece of my chest where the cartilage was taken. Can this be fixed?

Doctor Answers 8

Rib cartilage scar

There are many options for revising the scar and improving the appearance so there is no reason to be upset about it.  Talk to your surgeon about surgically revising the scar to minimize the depression.  Redness/purpleness of the scar will fade over time and can be improved with lasers.  Hypertrophied scars can also be improved with lasers or steroid injections.

Manhattan Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Rib harvest scar

without an evaluation of the scar it is hard to say, but check back with your surgeon. revisions with placement of some fat to fill out the area can be done. laser treatments can improve the appearance of the scar itself, and fillers or fat injections to improve the depression can be done.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Rib Scar Could Be Improved By Open Scar Revision

Your description of the scar is that of a classic indented nature. In most cases, the scar is somewhat wide as well as depressed. In that case, an open scar excision with reclosure will provide good improvement. If the scar is not wide and is only indented, then fat injections can provide the needed volume for scar elevation. Although you have not posted any pictures, it is more likely than not that an open scar revision is needed. That should be able to be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia if desired.

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

Scar revision after cartilage harvest

Scars that are dpressed are usually amenable to revision.  A good result requires some care with wound closure.  A multilayered closure with mobilization of deper tissues is key.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Very Unhappy With Rib Cartilage Harvest Scar- Options?

Yes scar revision, fat grafts can be used to correct this area. But you did not post a photo of the defect so very hard to advise. Seek in person consults. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Chest scar from rib cartilage, what now

There is an art to everything in plastic surgery and harvesting cartilage grafts for rhinoplasty from ear or rib should consider how the area will heal and appear after what has been taken. Now that you have an indentation that shows poorly, many things can be improved with an extra effort, and perhaps a visit with your surgeon will help sort out a fix.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Very Unhappy With Rib Cartilage Harvest Scar- Options?

It is impossible to specifically assure you without an examination or at least a photograph of the scar. Unless some complications took place the rib cartilage harvest scars although permanent can be revised to be less wide and sunken. Communicate with your surgeon and see what you can do together.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Rib harvest scars

Well, in fact, you did have a piece of your chest taken and sometimes the scar can implode into the area where the rib used to be.  Without a photo, more cannot be said but you should talk to your surgeon about the possibility of a scar revision to re-close the scar and stitch the deeper tissues together to minimize the indentation.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.