Question: What are natural vs. artificial implants for revision rhinoplasty? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Answer: In a rhinoplasty procedure, quite often the patient’s nose needs to be reshaped. This can involve the use of natural tissue from the body which is commonly harvested from the nose, ear or rib for use as a graft. The advantage of this is there is no potential for rejection and the tissues are well integrated in the body so there is little chance of pain or extrusion and a low chance of infection. Artificial implants are created with synthetic materials and are placed in the nose. There is no tissue grafting so if tissue in the nose is not available you do not need to go to another site such as the ear or rib to obtain tissues and the surgery can go on quickly. In addition, because the implant is manufactured, it can be made precisely to get a very, very sculpted and refined result. However, the larger, major disadvantage is that artificial implants can become infected. They can also extrude because they are not natural tissue and they may promote an immunologic response from the body.