How Does a Plastic Surgeon Harvest Rib Cartilage for Rhinoplasty?

Mirror 3D Imaging
Plastic surgeon consulting woman before rhinoplasty surgery.

If you are considering rhinoplasty, you may have heard about using rib cartilage as a graft material. Rib cartilage is a versatile and durable option to reshape and reconstruct the nose for functional and aesthetic purposes.

The Rib Cartilage Harvesting Procedure

During a rhinoplasty procedure that involves rib cartilage grafting, the plastic surgeon will typically make a small incision along the side of the chest, usually just below the breast crease, where the rib cartilage is located. Next, the surgeon will carefully remove a small section of the rib, preserving its integrity and shape. The harvested rib cartilage is then carefully prepared and shaped to match the desired graft size and shape.

The use of rib cartilage in rhinoplasty allows for a customized approach, as the surgeon can precisely shape and sculpt the graft to achieve the desired outcome. Then, they can use the graft to augment the nasal bridge, create a more defined tip or reinforce a weakened nasal structure, among other purposes. Furthermore, it offers excellent stability and longevity, making it a popular choice for complex and revision rhinoplasty cases.

Benefits of Using Rib Cartilage

There are several advantages to using rib cartilage as a graft material in rhinoplasty. These include:

  • Versatility: Rib cartilage can be shaped and tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs, making it a versatile option for various nasal reshaping techniques.
  • Durability: Rib cartilage is known for its strength and durability, providing long-lasting results that can withstand the test of time.
  • Biocompatibility: Rib cartilage is naturally compatible with the body, reducing the risk of rejection or adverse reactions.
  • Natural Look and Feel: Rib cartilage can provide a natural look and feel to the nose, mimicking the characteristics of native nasal cartilage.

Considerations for Getting Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty

While rib cartilage can be an excellent option for rhinoplasty, some considerations must be taken into account. These include:

  • Additional Incision: Harvesting rib cartilage requires an additional incision on the chest, which may result in a visible scar. However, the incision is typically tiny and well-concealed in the natural creases of the chest.
  • Longer Recovery: Harvesting rib cartilage may result in some discomfort and swelling in the chest area, which may take longer to heal compared to other graft materials.
  • Surgeon’s Expertise: Harvesting rib cartilage requires specialized surgical skills and experience, so it is crucial to choose a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon familiar with the technique.

Scheduling a Consultation for Rhinoplasty

If you are considering rhinoplasty, it is essential to consult with a skilled plastic surgeon. Dr. Jacob Sedgh of Sedgh Facial Plastic Surgery can provide expert guidance and personalized care. Contact his medical facility today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how rib cartilage can enhance your rhinoplasty results.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.