Spreader Grafts Made of Irradiated Donor (Banked) Rib Cartilage, What Are the Risks?

My surgeon suggested he'll use irradiated rib cartilage for the spreader grafts only if there is no septum left because he'll make the dorsal onlay of septal cartilage and the tip grafts of ear cartilage. So my question is what are the risks with irradiated spreader grafts, what if they resorp or warp what can happen in the long term? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

Spreader grafts from nasal or ear cartilage

 there should be enough nasal and ear cartilage  present to fashion spreader grafts, dorsal onlay grafts, and  tip graft. Irradiated rib cartilage may not be necessary, so resorption should not be an issue.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Irradiated rib cartilage and spreader grafts

Irradiated rib graft iis an option for grafting material and will respond similar to your own cartilage.  The resorption rate may be a bit higher than using your own but long term studies suggest that fibrous ingrowth may occur and hold up the structural integrity that the grafts originally were used for.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Irradiated rib grafts for rhinoplasty

The main risks of irradiate rib grafts related to resorption (the graft being absorbed by the body over time). Any grafts can potentially warp or bend, but irradiated rib is not much more likely to do so than other grafts if it is carved and used correctly. 

For spreader grafts, irradiated rib may not be a bad option. Your own rib graft might be a better option, but it does involve a more complicated surgery.

Best wishes,

-Dr. Asaria

Jamil Asaria, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Spreader Grafts Made of Irradiated Donor (Banked) Rib Cartilage, What Are the Risks?

The two biggest risks of irradiated rib cartilage, as you mentioned, are warping and resorption. There are techniques that can minimize this risk. This trade-off is usually counter-balanced by the fact that you don't need an incision on your chest and very, very small risk of a collapsed lung during harvest of your own rib cartilage. Irradiated rib cartilage is typically very effective. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 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.