Can A Dorsal Graft From My Rhinoplasty Be Removed?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a rhinoplasty six months ago. My main goal was to make my nose larger in the middle. I have breathing problems and when I use nasal strips it makes me  breathe better. I didn’t want to change my nose very much but just add support and width to the middle part. My rhinoplasty surgeon said he would put in spreader grafts and a columellar strut. After surgery when the splint was removed, he said he had also put in an onlay dorsal graft to make my nose look more balanced and masculine. My problem is that I didn’t want the dorsal graft. Now that I have more support in the middle vault, the dorsal graft makes my nose higher which I do not like. Can this dorsal graft be removed?

A: Dorsal grafts are onlay materials, usually cartilage, that is simply put on top of the bridge of the nose. How long it is and its size is largely irrelevant when it comes to removing it. The graft should be fairly easy to remove through a closed endonasal rhinoplasty approach. Unlike a bone graft, a cartilage graft never really becomes part of or truly incorporated into the underlying cartilage and bone but simply sits there with a surrounding capsule. This makes its secondary removal fairly easy. Since you are six months out, it is fair to say that you have a good idea of what your nose looks like and are certain that the dorsal graft does not fit into the desired aesthetic shape of your nose.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana