Illustrated by Dr. Ran- Rights Reserved

Where did rhinoplasty grafting materials come from?

Common donor sites for rhinoplasty in order of popularity:

  1. Septal cartilage (inside of the nose): For how small septum is, it really is a complex structure. It is made up by multiple bones with cartilage. Because the septum is already approached during rhinoplasty, it is naturally the most common place to obtain grafting material, reducing the need for a second donor site.The most common question I get asked is how noses stay structurally intact if the septum is violated. Septal cartilage grafts are taken from non-structural areas, and if structural area is what causing the issue- for example, crookedness, one would want the septum to be manipulated then secured to create a better aesthetics.
  2. Auricular cartilage (small part of the ear cartilage framework): This cartilage is harvested from the back side of the ear. The incision is often hidden in the crease where the ear attaches to the skull. The concave part of the ear cartilage framework is most commonly used for grafting. This is not a cosmetically sensitive area because of the concavity, and no one would notice anything was different by simply looking at the ear. Occasionally, if a major reconstruction is needed, we will take skin and cartilage from the ear, again in areas that little to no cosmetic changes will be noticed. Auricular cartilage is softer than septum or rib; therefore,
  3. Rib cartilage (6th rib): When a lot of grafting material is needed, rib is the perfect donor site. It offers a large amount of cartilage, which can be carved into different thickness and shapes. It however is also the most painful and highest risk site for cartilage harvesting.

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