Which Is Better For An Augmentation Asian Rhinoplasty – A Silicone Implant Or A Rib Graft?

Q:  I have heard of rib graft nose augmentation. Is this method better than using silicone implants? It seems that most people use silicone so why rib? Can a rib graft be carved like silicone with  a nice shape ? Can it get warped  and twisted? How many people are fixing their nose using rib grafts? How many people need to be redone because of problems with the rib graft? I want to fix my nose but am scared of using a rib graft because of what I have heard about them.

A: Rhinoplasty with dorsal nasal augmentation can be done using either a synthetic implant or an autogenous rib graft. While there are advocates for both approaches, either one can have very successful results. It is not a function that one is better than the other, they just have different advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic implants to the nose are relatively simple to do and require less operative time and surgical skill to do but they have potential long-term problems such as infection and extrusion in some patients. Rib grafts to the nose are harder to do and require greater skill and familiarity in working with this type of graft as well as requiring a donor site but they do not have long-term problems of infection or risk of graft extrusion.

In my experience, diced rib cartilages to the nose eliminate the risk of warping or twisting and mold nicely for dorsal augmentation. Solid rib grafts must be very carefully harvested, shaped and secured to avoid the problems to which you refer. I have done both techniques successfully and decide between the two rib cartilage graft techniques based on the quality and shape of the rib graft harvest.

The vast majority of patients wanting primary dorsal augmentation rhinoplasty for esthetic reasons, such as the Asian patient, is going to choose a silicone implant because of its simplicity and lack of the need for a donor site.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana