Potential Side Effects from Removing Cartilage from the Ear for Revision Rhinoplasty?

Hello, 8 monts ago I had a revision rhinoplasty with ear cartilage. I have some questions regarding the ear: Can removing cartilage from the ear lead to ear collapse after years? My ear feels very soft where the cartilage was removed.So what happens when the ear ages? Possible to have ear reconstrustion? And what about the scar that is placed in the front side of the ear and is very visible ? What can I do?

Doctor Answers 5

Ear cartilage and rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ear cartilage is often used for rhinoplasty grafting purposes.  It usually is taken from the conceal bowl and should not destabilize the ear.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Possible complication after ear cartilage removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Generally speaking it should be very rare to have a change in the appearance of the ear after cartilage removal. One must take care to avoid taking too much from the vertical ridge of the conchal bowl which can lead to deprojection of the ear. Also if the incision is made right over where the cartilage is taken this could lead to a stepoff, generally you should make the incision away from where the cartilage is removed. You should talk to your surgeon.

Samson Lee, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Side Effects after Removal of Ear Cartilage for Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If the cartilage was removed from the bowl of your ear for a rhinoplasty revision there will be no long term problems with the shape of your ear or a risk of ear collapse. If the scar is still visible 8 months after surgery talk to your surgeon about topical gels, laser treatment, or scar revision.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Ear cartilage grafts for nose revision surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

ear cartilage grafts for nose revision surgery:

  • these are usually invisible
  • scar guard, kelocote , mederma can help
  • laser may be last resort if needed
  • softness is common
  • distortion of ear more unusual

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Removal of ear cartilage for rhinoplasty does not usually change the appearance of the ear

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Removal of ear cartilage does not usually change the appearance of the ear. Once the ear is healed, it's unusual for the removal of cartilage to change the shape as long as the cartilage at the outer part of the "bowl" of the ear is preserved. The scar is another issue. This can be visible if placed on the outside of the ear. Because of this, I always remove the cartilage with an incision on the backside of the ear where it's hidden. When this is done, it's very unusual for anyone to detect that cartilage was borrowed from the ear for rhinoplasty of reconstructive surgery.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

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.