Can Nose be Made From Rib Cartilage? Am I The Eve?

After my evaluation, I have told my patient that I can fix their nose but I need to take cartilage from her ribs. My patient, who has trusted me with an extremely complex surgery like rhinoplasty has become speechless after this sentence. Of course, when I tried to make a comparison with Eve who had been created from Adam’s rib, she answered “I’m not Eve!”

Yes, rib cartilage might be used in rhinoplasty surgeries. But when? In a standard primer rhinoplasty (one that hasn’t been operated on before) a piece of cartilage tissue is removed from the septum and this is used  to give the nose its new shape and fix breathing problems. But why? Let’s say we started rhinoplasty surgery, made our incisions but changed our mind and stitched the mucosa tissue immediately. Although we haven’t touched the cartilage and the bone, because we cut the soft tissue and ligaments, a pressure gets applied to the soft tissue by the elastic tissues of our nose and nasal shape gets distorted. Stitching back the soft tissue won’t change this outcome. Because soft tissue resistance won’t be restored until the healing process is done.

But why doesn’t this fact cause a problem after rhinoplasty? Of course it does. This is what causes the infamous nasal tip drooling. In order to prevent this outcome, we place the cartilage removed from the septum inside the columella ( this is referred to as grafting). If all these sound very technical, let me summarize it this way: We’re making a new tent with your nasal skin, and this tent needs new poles. Other than this we plant cartilage in other areas in order to support breathing.

But why the need for removal from the rib? If you had a rhinoplasty surgery before, septum cartilage might be used for this purpose or got damaged during the surgery. Because of this, while you have decided to go under this burden once more, we should go into operation prepared. This isn’t a situation that should alarm you. With a gentle incision the size of 3 cms cartilage is removed from the tip of your rib.

While this sounds crazy to uninformed patients, ones who have researched it want us to take it from their ear, not rib. While ear cartilage is also very resourceful, it has a low capacity of weight carry. We use it mostly for soft nasal tip repairs, or for grafting purposes that doesn’t require high weight carrying capacity.

You shouldn’t get too worried about this subject. It is much easier that you think and has a high level of success. Also this way, you can empathize with Eve while getting a perfect nose. Be positive. 🙂

Are you ready to read more about revision rhinoplasty?