How Can A Rib Graft Rhinoplasty Look Natural?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a rib graft rhinoplasty. I consulted with a local doctor and he said that because of the height and projection of the nasal implant it made my nostril more visible. I think I’m leaning more towards rib cartilage as use for the implant. What I want to accomplish is a nose that’s less deviated, less nostril visibility and appears less short. Also, being that I have thin skin, what can we do to prevent the rib graft from being visible when someone is looking at me? At the moment, my nose looks thin and skeletal like and I want to remedy that. 

For my chin, I want the implant removed and fat grafting done to the area. I just want a chin with an appropriate projection in relation to my face and nose. Also, I would like to see if we can use fat grafting to restore a natural jawline to my face before resorting to implants. I would like fat grafting to my nasal labial folds as well as the cheek/hollows of my eyes. 

A: There us nothing wrong with using injectable fat and that is clearly a treatment approach that you find most comfortable. However, you need to be aware that fat grafting never works the same as an implant regardless of how it is presented in surgeon’s websites. Fat grafts are soft and don’t have the same push on the overlying soft tissues. As a result, the amount of augmentation and the definition it creates is far inferior to a firm implant. But with that being said, I think fat grafting is reasonable since you have other fat grafting needs so ti is worth the effort. There is certainly nothing to lose by so doing.

It is difficult in any rib graft to a nose with thin skin to not have it look skeletal. Ways to lessen that aesthetic risk are carving the edges of the graft so that they are round and not sharp and to cover the rib graft with a thin layer of allogeneic dermis. Together these two approaches can be effective at softening the look of a rib graft to the nose.

In replacing a chin implant with fat, it is again important to know that it will not create the same effect and many not even survive inside the relatively avascular lining surface of the chin implant pocket. But again it is a reasonable approach with little risk other than complete graft absorption.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana