Can a Rib Cartilage Spreader Graft Be Removed Without Causing a Deformed-looking Nose?

I had a revision rhinoplasty two years ago, and a spreader graft was placed in my nose to help with my breathing. It didn't work, and I now have great discomfort and throbbing. My breathing is worse. My nose is also too wide in the mid section from the spreader. Can I have it removed without it destroying my nose?

Doctor Answers 5

Spreader graft removal

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There is no question that a graft removal is not only risky functionally, but can cause further deformity.  Thus, removal can be achieved, but a plan for reconstruction must accompany the plan for removal.

Removal of Spreader Graft

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The spreader graft can be removed if necessary . You should correct the breathing obstruction at the same time.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breathing worse after revision rhinoplasty

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Breathing problems can be related to multiple different parts of the airway, including septal deviation, turbinate bone/mucous membrane overgrowth, internal swelling, etc.  It is hard to answer your question without pictures or an examination, but, broadly, revision surgery can be performed and you should not have to live with difficulty breathing through your nose.  A thorough exam will reveal exactly what can be done to improve breathing (probably some internalal adjustments of the turbinates and/or septum) and what might help with the cosmetic appearance of your nose.  Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has a lot of experience with revision (secondary and tertiary) rhinoplasty.  Be sure to see a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op pictures so you can gauge the surgeon's experience level.

Removing a previously placed spreader graft

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The spreader graft can certainly be removed during a revision rhinoplasty without adversely affecting your nose.  Once removed the internal nasal valve (the mid section of your nose) would have to be reconstructed, but should result in a slightly more narrow appearance to that area.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Spreader graft and nose

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I think I answered your other question. Removing the spreader graft will narrow the nose but it may make your breathing worse.  Hard to say.

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