Topic: If ear cartilage is used for a revision rhinoplasty procedure, is the ear affected in any way? Where is the cartilage taken from and is it noticeable?
This is an excellent question and most certainly an understandable concern as a revision rhinoplasty can be one of the most complicated procedures in plastic surgery. It is important to keep realistic expectations about the procedure and to not become terribly disheartened due to an unsatisfactory experience in the past. Keeping an open line of communication with your doctor is crucial; he will work with you to ensure that you are not only pleased with the outcome but also that the changes will leave you without impediment in breathing. There are a number of variables that can make the procedure particularly challenging, the most critical of which is the potential scarring and the unknown status of structural supports from the previous procedure. Additionally, other complications may arise from nasal obstruction because of a deviated septum, asymmetry, or an overly narrowed bridge. Despite this, however, there is little to be alarmed about for the patient. In the process of a revision rhinoplasty procedure that utilizes ear cartilage, the cartilage is removed from an area of the ear known as the conchal bowl. This is the bowl-shaped cavity just outside of the opening of the ear canal, in the middle of the external portion of the ear. Utilizing this cartilage should have virtually no adverse effect on the appearance of the ear. If the graft is taken with the utmost care and appropriately, regardless of whether cartilage is removed from one or both ears, the patient should not be able to see afterward that anything was done to the ear. The surgeon often removes cartilage from this area when necessary as the ear cartilage is not only easily obtained without significant intrusion but also excellent for working over the tip of the nose and in particular around the nostrils. It is also significant to keep in mind that the tissues of the nose may take time to completely settle into their new configuration during the recovery process. For more information, contact Dr. Epstein for a consultation regarding your secondary/ revision rhinoplasty.