How Safe is the Costal Cartilage Graft when Used During an Asian Rhinoplasty?

What can be done to speed up the healing?

Doctor Answers 11

Asian Rhinoplasty and Safe


Rib (costal) cartilage can be obtained in a very safe and controlled fashion.  Complications can be an unacceptable linear scar along the rib cage, infection, and infrequently a pneumothorax (a tear in the lining of the lungs). 

There are many options for augmenting the nasal dorsum, silastic and gortex implants, bone grafts, and cartilage from other sources, such as the ears or septum.  I rarely consider a costal graft in primary rhinoplasty, unless there is a strong patient preference to avoid synthetic materials.


San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Use of costal cartilage for Asian rhinoplasty

Costal cartilage is one of the best and safest source of graft material during Asian rhinoplasty in the hands of a rhinoplasty specialist experienced in costal cartilage harvest.  It can create significant projection and height while maintaining a very natural contour to the nose.  

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

Costal cartilage is safe if harvested and used by an experienced surgeon.

Costal cartilage is very safe if it is harvested and used by an experienced surgeon. It has a low infection and resorption rate, and easily carved, but has a tendency to warp.

Eric In Choe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Costal cartilage for asian rhinoplasty

Costal cartilage is not often needed for asian rhinoplasty if you have septum and cartilage available in one ear. There is almost always enough tissue to rebuild the tip and bridge using these tissues alone. Costal cartilage would be a last resort if other sites are not available.

Charles S. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Rib cartilage is safe for Asian rhinoplasty

Using rib cartilage is certainly a safe option for augmenting the bridge in Asian rhinoplasty.

Other cartilage-based options include using septal or ear cartilage, but these may not offer enough material or strength necessary for your case depending on your anatomy.

Maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco use and performing the prescribed incision line care all help to promote smooth healing.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

How Safe is the Costal Cartilage Graft when Used During an Asian Rhinoplasty?

 While safe, IMHO of performing Rhinoplasty for over 20 years, costal cartilage has a tendency to dissolve unevenly over the years creating surface irregularities and nasal asymmetry.  This also happens with costal bone, calvarial bone and banked cartilage/bone IMO.  My preferred dorsal graft is a straight (not L-shaped that can erode through the skin over the nasal tip) silastic implant for any Rhinoplasty, Asian or otherwise.

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

Costal Cartilage to Augment Asian Nose

Costal (rib) cartilage is safe to use to augment an Asian nose but I prefer to use septal and ear cartilage, if there is enough, because it is easier to harvest and is less painful for the patient. Many Asian patients use synthetic materials but I prefer to use their own tissue because there is less risk of post-op graft infection and movement.

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

How safe is rib cartilage in Asian rhinoplasty?

Rib cartilage grafting is no less safe in Asian rhinoplasty then in any other ethnic group. Except for the 4-6 weeks of rib discomfort it is generally a very safe option. The major long term risk is warping or graft resorbtion and this is no different across ethnic groups. 

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rib cartilage graft to nose safety in Asians

Rib cartilage in the long term is the gold standard in nose grafting. Although it has potential complications involved in obtaining it which are not shared by using synthetic or cadaveric implants it has a much lower rate of infection, poor scarring and extrusion found with other implants. Asian nose skin is generally thicker and more forgiving to implants than western Caucasian skin. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Cartilage grafts and rhinoplasty.

There are several areas which can be used as donor sites for cartilage grafting in rhinoplasty. I normally go to the septum first, then the ear and last rib. The first two choices cause far less discomfort.

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.