What Do Ribs Have To Do With Rhinoplasty?

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What Do Ribs Have To Do With Rhinoplasty? featured image

With some nose jobs, such as the correction of a low bridge, cartilage is added, usually from another part of patient’s nose, or the ear. But when there isn’t enough cartilage in these areas, or it’s too thin, an experimental technique employing donor cartilage from someone else’s ribs shows a great amount of potential for an alternative with excellent outcomes.

Over the last quarter of a century, irradiated homologous costal cartilage-radiation-treated donor rib tissue-has been analyzed by University of Texas plastic surgeon Russell W. H. Kridel, MD, for infection, warping, resorption, and patient satisfaction. He and his research team found that complications were no more prevalent with donor rib cartilage than with the traditional method of using the patient’s own cartilage grafts.

Specifically, there was only a 3% complication rate among patients who’ve had a donor rib cartilage graft, none of which involved an allergic reaction or systemic diseases. Furthermore, patients reported satisfaction in their appearance and breathing ease.

“Irradiated homograft cartilage grafts should be considered as an alternative or even a primary grafting material when the patient does not have adequate quantities of septal or auricular cartilage remaining to provide the correction or when the shape or quality of such an autologous cartilage does not adequately provide the structure required,” Dr. Kridel and fellow authors wrote in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. “The results indicate safety and reliability and justify the convenient use of irradiated homologous costal cartilage grafts for primary and revision rhinoplasty.”

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