Question: Are grafts always used in revision rhinoplasty cases? And what are they made of? Are there any concerns while using them?
Answer: Revision rhinoplasty, or rhinoplasty after patients have a previous surgery, may require the use of extra tissue to recreate contours or provide support to the nose. These grafts are usually made of cartilage or many different tissues can be used in the nose. The best way to think of these tissues in the nose are tissues that come from the patient’s own body but just cartilage, bone or soft tissue overlying muscle. There are also tissues which can be made from animals and tissues or grafts which can be made from synthetic materials such as silicone, silastic and others. In general, the most preferred graft is to use the patient’s own tissue. This is much preferable to suing synthetic tissues because synthetic tissues can have a risk of causing chronic pain, chronic redness or graft extrusion or shifting. Any of these problems can occur in any graft, however problems with grafts from the patient’s own cartilage are minimal to almost non-existent. Cartilage can be taken either from the nose if there is cartilage in the nasal septum or from the ear. Bone cartilage can also be harvested from the patient’s rib. Grafting in revision rhinoplasty is a very complicated subject and the type of graft used and how it’s used and how it’s shaped is best determined in a consultation with an experienced facial plastic surgeon.