I want to use my ear cartilage for rhinoplasty but I fear that my ear will get infected or a complication will occur. On my left ear I have my inner conch pierced and on my right ear I have one cartilage piercing and one previous cartilage piercing that closed and turned into a bumpy scar.
Can I Still Harvest Ear Cartilage on my Pierced Ear?
Doctor Answers 7
Donor Cartilage from Pierced Ear
You should not have any problems harvesting cartilage from a pierced ear. If there are potential problems, which would be determined at the time of physical examination, there are multiple excellent sources of donor cartilage.
Ear grafting a pierced ear
The best cartilage to use for rhinoplasty is septal cartilage by far. The question is why do you wan to use ear cartilage? If your septum has been operated, there may still be some good cartilage left. Only after this has been exhausted, should the ear be used. Ideally, your right ear should be used. This is because your left ear is pieced right in the area that is going to be harvested.
Ear Cartilage for Rhinoplasty
The piercings may not present much of an issue for your rhinoplasty surgeon. You can harvest cartilage from several areas, if necessary. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA
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Ear cartilage grafts for rhinoplasty
Ear cartilage grafts for rhinoplasty are only used when there is a cartilage depleted nose and no septal cartilage is left over. It is always best to use the nose cartilage before your ear cartilage. It is also acceptable to harvest cartilage from the opposite ear that's not been pierced.
Use of pierced ear cartilage in rhinoplasty
The best cartilage for the nose is septal cartilage followed by rib and then ears. If ear cartilage must be used for a variety of reasons, a few small piercings should not be a limiting factor as long as there was no infection present at any time which could have melted some of the cartilage in the past. A good surgeon can work around one or two small holes in the cartilage and still be able to use the ear cartilage for graft material.
Conchal cartilage is a good material for rhinoplasty surgery
Ear cartilage is a good material for grafting. If the area is scarred or has a piercing it may not be the best site. Options are other areas of the ear or some nasal cartilage.
Ear cartilage harvest
Pierced areas can be harvested without much issue. Ideally, non pierced cartilage should be harvested. There are a variety of areas that can be harvested, such as the two areas of the concha and the tragus. Your surgeon has other options as well, including the nasal septum. Depending on the kind of cartilage graft you need, any or all of these other options could be utilized for your surgery.
Thank you for your question.