What Is The Best Way To Revise A Medpor Nasal Implant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a revision rhinoplasty about ten years ago. I had a Medpor nasal shell put in. It was a thicker shell which augmented my nose too much in width, but I’ve always liked the right side and the profile is good. However, the left side is too bulbous and makes my nose look too big. I have talked to two rhinoplasty surgeons who have given different opinions although both are very confident about working with Medpor. One suggests removing the shell and replacing it with a smaller implant or a rib graft. The other said to leave the implant in and just carve into it on the left side and make it smaller. What’s your opinion? What do you think will yield the best results, but also be the safest in preventing infection and is less intrusive?

A: The concept of narrowing your existing implant rather than replacing it with a new implant or a rib graft is a sound one to me. If you like most of what you have in place and just need a little tweaking of it, then you should just modify the existing implant. Doing so also has the advantage that it is really what I call an ‘autoimplant’ at this point. It is part implant and part autogenous since you have tissue ingrowth into it. I would also contend that using the existing implant has less of an infection risk than placing a new one, since the ability to get it inoculated with bacteria into its porous structure is less due to the existing tissue ingrowth.

Whether you carve it in place or take it out to reshape the existing implant is matter of nuances. Either way you have to do a complete dissection over the top and both sides of the implant. Even for in situ carving, you need the space to work. The only difference is that in removal you have to release it underneath from the  cartilage-bony framework. Based on my experience, I could not tell you until I was in there which way I would do it. If I had good access with it in place, I would carve it down without removing it. If I could not get a space to work and was concerned about the overlying skin, then I would remove it, carve it down and re-insert. I don’t think any surgeon can tell you which exact method is best until they are in there. What matters is which way will give the best rhinoplasty revision result and not injure the overlying skin cover.

I have never found Medpor implants hard to remove. Surgeons say it is hard because they have never done it or are comparing it to silicone implants which slide out quite easily. Medpor implants require more care and finesse in their removal to not injure surrounding tissues but they can be removed even though they are more adherent to the tissues.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana