Use of rib cartilage for Rhino-Septoplasty?

My specialist has suggested that he will take a complete cartilage to graft my nose. Having one cartilage removed completely, will by rib be floating in the abdomen wall? Will the rib stay stable without being attached to the sternum? will this cartilage removal effect any of my day to day activities? Like sports, weight training etc. Will it feel hollow at the location of extraction?

Doctor Answers 2

Use of rib cartilage for Rhino-Septoplasty?

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Hello high waves - Thanks for your question. If you are having a rib graft harvest, for the most part you won't notice much of a change from day to day. You might feel a minor contour irregularity if the closure is not perfect.  The rib will be slightly mobile only.  If you worry at all, ask your surgeon about the use of cadaver rib graft.  I use it all the time, but not if a solid dorsal graft is to be created as it resorbs more quickly.  I use it for DCF (diced cartilage-fascia) grafts to build up the bridge of the nose. Good luck, Dr. Shah

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Rib cartilage graft

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Dear High Waves,

Rib graft is a not to uncommon occurrence in Rhinoplasty. Usually when harvesting the graft the perichondrium (surrounds the cartilage) is split and the true cartilage is harvested - sometimes only part of the cartilage is needed for the procedure  (in which case it is weakened but not absent). After the harvest the perichondrium is closed. Typically the absence of this cartilage is uncomfortable but should - if done correctly - be temporary and not result in a functional disability - this is especially true if the perichondrium is closed. There is a period of weeks for the discomfort to abate and weeks to a few months for this to heal. I would definitely discuss this with your Plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Gideon Maresky, MD
South Africa Plastic Surgeon

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.