A member asked:

Is having revision rhinoplasty using rib cartilage safe? i've been reading about revision rhinoplasty, and see that grafting in rib cartilage seems like a common procedure. are there extra risks to doing this?

13 doctors weighed in across 7 answers
Dr. Richard Arden answered

Specializes in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

The : The major risk associated with costal (rib) cartilage harvest is pneumothorax. In experienced hands this risk is extremely low and should it develop is easily treated . A safer approach which i currently favor is split cartilage graft harvest which essentially eliminates the risk of pleural violation since a protective layer of cartilage is left in situ.

Answered 10/3/2016

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Dr. Thomas Lamperti answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

Rib : Rib cartilage grafting does add the risks associated with surgery on the chest wall. This mainly involves the rare risk of injurying the lung. Obviously, there will an added incision as well. Otherwise, rib cartilage grafting is a well established technique and is overall quite safe.

Answered 10/3/2016

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Dr. Mia Skourtis answered

Specializes in Surgery - Plastics

Rib : Rib cartilage is an excellent choice when significant support of the nasal structures is required. Rib cartilage has good strength and rigidity, and functions as a good graft material. There is a small risk of injury to the lining of the lung cavity when retrieving rib cartilage, and harvest requires an incision over the rib. All the best, dr. Skourtis.

Answered 10/3/2016

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Dr. Benjamin Cilento answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

Yes : Yes it is very safe... Harvesting it from your own rib has an extremely low rate of complications... And using irradiated rib from a cadaver is also very safe.. There has never been an incidence of disease transmission from this modality.... Rib rhinoplasty information.

Answered 10/3/2016

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Dr. Richard Fleming answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

The : The use of rib cartilage in rhinoplasty surgery is a well established and safe technique. There is the added risk of a pneumothorax but this is rare and easily treated. It is unusual for me to harvest rib graft because of the additional chest scar and the fact that the patient will have more post-op pain.

Answered 10/4/2016

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Dr. David Sherris answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

Safe: It is safe but there is a little more pain and risk associated with the rib harvest. I have published multiple articles on the subject and the safety is proven if you have an experienced surgeon. Yet, the rib site does hurt for a couple of weeks. The cartilage and bone of the rib are excellent for revision rhinoplasty!

Answered 1/13/2013

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Dr. Stuart Bentkover answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

Not always needed: In a first revision septal or ear cartilage is often sufficient. Rib cartilage may be needed if there is not enough of those materials left. There is a risk of what is called a pneumothorax but it is small. This is when air gets between you lung and your chest wall. Here is a link to revisions done without rib: http://www.Bostonrhinoplastycenter.Com/photos-revision-rhinoplasty/.

Answered 9/30/2013

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