Reply To: Rhinoplasty: Silicon or Rib cartilage?

Best Korean Plastic Surgery Clinics Forums Community Discussion Rhinoplasty: Silicon or Rib cartilage? Reply To: Rhinoplasty: Silicon or Rib cartilage?


This really varies from case to case because what’s best for one, might not be best for another. The advantages of synthetic implants (i.e, silicone) is that it’s not as complex and costly as harvesting autologous material (fancy Latin medical word meaning natural material from your own body), such as rib cartilage.

Implants can be shaped and cut to precision, and deliver a very stable and predictable look over time assuming that no complications happen. They can also be removed more easily than autologous material if a revision surgery is needed.

However, since silicone is a foreign material, it can run a higher risk of complications such as being rejected by the body, especially if it’s infected, and could migrate, shift, or stick out (extrusion). But there are different types of synthetic implants available to off-set these risks (example Gore Tex), and each one also comes with its own pros and cons. These are worst-case scenarios, but if you go to an experienced clinic then these risks can be significantly reduced.

When it comes to cartilage, rib is usually the last choice if no other cartilage can be harvested such as septal cartilage from the nose (first choice, but many Asians do not have a lot of extra septal cartilage), then it’s ear cartilage the second best choice, but it’s not really preferable by many surgeons for bridge heightening. If all options are exhausted and the goal is heightening the bridge with cartilage, then rib becomes the best option.

The advantage of using rib cartilage is it has an extremely lower risk of infection and being rejected because it’s from your own body. Some disadvantages of rib cartilage that people report is that it can feel very hard or stiff, and there’s a possibility of a long-term complication such as warping or the shape changing and or curving overtime. There are special techniques to prevent or minimize this, so it’s best to go to real pro for this procedure. Also cartilage is not as easy to remove if a revision surgery is needed.

It’s a tough choice, but most folks in general say it’s always best to try and use material from your own body if you can.

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