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What Is Ear Cartilage graft Rhinoplasty ?

2023-12-12 11:41:33

Dr. Fariba Azadikhah
Reviewed by:
Dr. Fariba Azadikhah

Ear cartilage rhinoplasty is a type of nose procedure that uses cartilage from the person’s ear to reconstruct or reshape the nose. The cartilage is taken from the person’s ear and used to help reshape and reconstruct the nose in cases where the existing cartilage of the person’s nose is not sufficient to provide the desired shape. Ear cartilage rhinoplasty can be performed for both cosmetic or functional reasons, such as improving breathing, correcting a crooked nose, or repairing a nasal defect. ear cartilage rhinoplasty in Iran can give you a perfect surgery at a lower cost compared to other countries.
The choice of ear cartilage instead of other types of cartilage depends on the surgeon’s preference and the individual case. It is effective for revision rhinoplasty when used as minor contour grafts or a composite graft (cartilage plus skin) is needed for nostril defects.

What is Cost of ear cartilage graft rhinoplasty

Cost Of Ear Cartilage Graft Rhinoplasty

The price of ear cartilage rhinoplasty is different depending on the surgeon the patient chooses, the technique, and the city. Board-certified surgeons and Complex techniques may cost more.
There are also other expenses such as hospital stay, accommodation, transportation, and other services. The costs of these packages may vary depending on the duration and quality of the services.
Ermateb is a medical tourism facilitator, located at Iran University of Medical Science. To get more information about this surgery and the exact cost, you can contact Ermateb via WhatsApp, or you can reach us by filling out the online form on our website.

How is ear cartilage rhinoplasty done?

Ear cartilage rhinoplasty is performed by following steps:
The surgeon makes small incisions inside the patient’s nose or between the nostrils to access the nasal structures. The surgeon harvests cartilage from the patient’s ear through a tiny incision in the crease of the ear. After that, the ear cartilage is shaped and trimmed to fit the nose. The surgeon uses the ear cartilage to support, augment, or refine the nasal tip, bridge, or sidewalls. The ear cartilage can be used as a strut, a graft, a camouflage, or a spreader. The surgeon may use stitches or sutures to adjust the shape of the existing nasal cartilage. The surgeon straightens the septum (the wall that separates the nostrils) if it’s deviated and improves the nasal airway. The surgeon may use ear cartilage, septal cartilage, or synthetic implants to reinforce the septum. The surgeon closes the incisions with stitches and then applies a splint and bandages to support and protect the nose. The splint and bandages are usually eliminated after a week.  The operation often takes about 2 hours and may be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Advantages and disadvantages of ear cartilage rhinoplasty
Ear cartilage rhinoplasty has some pros and cons. Some of them include:
pros of ear cartilage rhinoplasty:
1.Ear cartilage is easy to harvest, leaves a minimal scar that is well concealed within the creases of your ear, and has a low risk of infection.
2.It is effective for revision rhinoplasty ( Related to Pubmed source about cartilage rhinoplasty ) when a composite graft is required for nostril defects or when used as minor contour grafts.
3.It has a high flexibility and natural curvature that make the lifting and shaping of the tip look good.
cons of ear cartilage rhinoplasty:
1.It is more flimsy and naturally curved compared to septal or rib cartilage rhinoplasty, and that makes it less ideal for straightening a crooked nose, or creating a strong nasal bridge.
2.It can warp, become visible, or extrude under the skin in certain cases, which may need another revision procedure to eliminate or replace it.
3.It may not provide enough amount or strength of cartilage when major shape changes are required, such as correcting a collapsed nose or increasing the bridge height.

Who can be a candidate for ear cartilage rhinoplasty?

You can be a good candidate for ear cartilage rhinoplasty ( or rib cartilage nosejob ) if you need a nose procedure to improve the function or appearance of your nose, and you don’t have enough cartilage in the septum (the wall between the nostrils) to use as a graft. This surgery can be performed for primary or revision cases, but it’s more appropriate for minor revisions that need contouring or filling of the nasal tip, sidewalls, or bridge. In addition, this operation can be used to repair nostril defects with a composite graft (cartilage plus skin) from the ear.
You cannot be a candidate for this operation if you have one or more of the following conditions:
1.An intense infection or inflammation in your ear or nose could compromise the process of healing or raise the risk of complications.
2.A history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring which can affect the function or appearance of the ear or the nose following the surgery.
3.A lack of sufficient or healthy ear cartilage can limit the quality or amount of grafts available for your nose.
4.A need for major shape changes in your nose, like creating a strong nasal bridge or straightening a crooked nose, needs more rigid and straight cartilage than ear cartilage can provide.
5.A preference for a natural-looking nose that matches the facial harmony of the person and ethnic features, as ear cartilage can create an overdone or unnatural appearance in some cases.
To determine if you can be a good candidate for ear cartilage rhinoplasty, you better consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-experienced in this type of procedure. The surgeon can evaluate your nose and ear, discuss your expectations and goals, and recommend the best option for you. You can also review some before and after photos of ear cartilage rhinoplasty patients to get an idea of the possible results.

Preparation for ear cartilage rhinoplasty

To prepare for the ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure, patients should follow these steps:
Before the procedure, the patient should meet with the surgeon and discuss the medical history, their goals and expectations, and the risks and advantages of the procedure. The surgeon will also examine the patient’s nose and ear, take photographs of their face, and use computer software to show the patient the possible results of the operation. The patient should ask any questions they have and make sure they understand the plan and consent forms.
The patient should stop smoking for about six weeks before the operation, as smoking can impair the healing process and raise the risk of side effects. The person should also refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory medications which can increase bleeding. They may need to adjust or stop taking some of their other medications as well, depending on the surgeon’s instructions. The patient should arrange for someone to drive them home following the operation and stay with them for at least the first night. They should also prepare their home with items like pillows, ice packs, gauze, and soft foods. The patient should refrain from any strenuous activities or travel plans for about 2 weeks after the operation. On the day of the surgery, the patient should wear loose and comfortable clothing that doesn’t require to be pulled over their head. The patient shouldn’t eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the procedure unless the surgeon tells them otherwise. They shouldn’t also wear any jewelry, contact lenses, or have dentures before the procedure.
After the operation, the patient should follow the surgeon’s post-op care instructions carefully. They should keep their head elevated and apply cold compresses to decrease bruising and swelling. The patient should avoid blowing their nose or sneezing forcefully for one week. They should also avoid spicy foods, sun exposure, and alcohol for at least one month. The patient should take painkillers as prescribed by their doctor and antibiotics if needed. They should also keep their incisions dry and clean and change their bandages as directed. They should expect some swelling, bleeding, bruising, drainage, numbness, and discomfort for the first few days or weeks following the operation. The patient should contact the surgeon if they experience any symptoms of infection, excessive bleeding, severe pain, or difficulty breathing.
The patient should have regular follow-up visits with their surgeon to monitor their healing and progress. The surgeon will eliminate the splint and stitches after one week. The patient may need to make some minor adjustments or revisions later on. The person should be patient and realistic about the outcomes, as it may take up to a year for the final result to be visible.

What are the risks and complications of ear cartilage graft rhinoplasty?

Ear cartilage rhinoplasty carries some risks and side effects that patients should be aware of before undergoing the surgery. Some of the possible risks and side effects of ear cartilage rhinoplasty include:


patients may experience some bleeding from their nose or ear following the operation, which is often minor and can be controlled with packing or pressure. However, in rare cases, patients may have excessive bleeding that needs a blood transfusion or another procedure to stop it.


patients may develop an infection in their nose or ear that causes redness, pain, swelling, fever, or pus. patients may need to take antibiotics or have the infected tissue eliminated to treat the infection.

3.Anesthesia reaction:

patients may have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used during the operation, which causes headache, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, or allergic reactions. In rare cases, patients may have more serious side effects like breathing problems, heart problems, or brain damage

4.Breathing problems:

patients may have difficulty breathing through their nose following the operation, especially if they have swelling or congestion. It may improve over time as they heal, but in some cases, they may require additional surgery to correct the problem.


patients may have permanent numbness in and around their nose or ear following the operation, which can affect the sense of touch and temperature. It may also affect the sense of taste and smell.


patients may have an uneven-looking nose after the operation, which can be caused by irregularity, asymmetry, or deformity of the cartilage grafts. Patients may need another operation to correct the appearance of their nose.

7.Cartilage warping:

patients may have cartilage warping after the procedure, which means that the ear cartilage changes its shape over time because of factors like temperature, humidity, or pressure. It causes the nose to look crooked or distorted. Patients may require another operation to eliminate or replace the warped cartilage.

8.Cartilage visibility:

patients may have cartilage visibility following the procedure, which means that the ear cartilage becomes noticeable under the skin of the nose. It can make the nose look unnatural or bumpy. Patients may need another procedure to cover or smooth out the visible cartilage.

9.Cartilage extrusion:

patients may have cartilage extrusion following the surgery, which means that the ear cartilage pushes through the skin of the nose and becomes exposed. This causes scarring, pain, infection, or loss of tissue. Patients may need another procedure to delete or replace the extruded cartilage.

10.Septal perforation:

patients may have septal perforation after the procedure, which means that the patient has a hole in the wall between their nostrils. This causes whistling sounds, bleeding, crusting, or nasal collapse. Patients may need another operation to repair the hole.


The patient may have scarring following the procedure, which can be visible on the ear or nose. Scarring can affect the function and shape of the nose or ear. Patients may need another operation or treatment like injections or lasers to improve the appearance of their scars.


Ear cartilage is curved and flexible, which can make it easier to form and shape the desired nose shape. However, ear cartilage can also warp (twist or bend) over time, which causes asymmetry or deformity of the nose. Warping can be influenced by factors including the location and amount of the graft, the technique and skill of the surgeon, and the process of healing of the patient. Warping can be corrected with another procedure, but it may not be able to restore the original shape completely.


Ear cartilage is soft and thin, which makes it blend well with the surrounding tissue and provides a smooth and natural appearance to the nose. However, ear cartilage can become visible under the skin, especially if there isn’t enough skin coverage or if there is shrinking or thinning of the skin over time. Visibility causes aesthetic problems such as ridges, bumps, or irregularities on the nose surface. Visibility can be improved with fillers, injections, or other procedures.


Ear cartilage rhinoplasty includes making a small incision and eliminating a small piece of cartilage from behind the ear. This usually doesn’t affect the function or shape of the ear, but in some cases, it causes some contour deformity or irregularity of the ear, especially if a large amount of cartilage is eliminated. The deformity can be noticeable or unnoticeable depending on the location and size of the cartilage removal. The deformity can be corrected with another surgical procedure or injection.
These risks and side effects are not very common and most individuals who have this procedure are satisfied with their outcomes. Patients should discuss these risks and side effects with their surgeon and weigh them against the advantages of improving their breathing and appearance. Patients should also follow their surgeon’s instructions before and following the operation to reduce these risks and complications and ensure a smooth recovery.

Recovery process of ear cartilage rhinoplasty

The recovery time of ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure is a topic that includes the healing and care of both the nose and the ear following the procedure. The recovery period of the ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure can be different depending on the technique used, the amount of cartilage harvested, the healing ability of the patient, the surgeon’s preference, and the post-operative care. However, there are also some general steps and tips to follow.
The ear that had cartilage eliminated may be bruised, sore, numb, and swollen for a few days to a few weeks following the procedure. The patient may need to wear a dressing or a bandage around the ear to protect it and decrease swelling. The patient may be able to sleep on the ear that had cartilage harvested after a week, but it may still be uncomfortable or painful for about 3 to 4 months. The patient should avoid putting pressure on the ear or rubbing it until it’s fully healed.
The patient should refrain from any activities that can cause trauma or infection to the ear, such as contact sports, swimming, or piercing. The patient should also avoid exposing the ear to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. They should follow the surgeon’s instructions on how to care and clean for their ear incision. They may need to apply antibiotic ointment or cream to promote healing and prevent infection. They should also keep the ear dry and avoid getting water or shampoo in it.
The patient must report any symptoms of bleeding, infection, or abnormal healing to the surgeon as soon as they can. These may include redness, fever, pus, warmth, or increased pain in the ear. The outcome of the ear shape and appearance may take six months or more to be visible. The patient’s ear may have a small scar behind it, which fades over time. The patient’s ear may have some minor asymmetry or irregularity compared to the other ear, which is okay and expected.
The recovery period of the ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure can be challenging but rewarding if you follow the surgeon’s advice and take good care of yourself. Ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure improves your appearance and confidence by giving a more balanced and harmonious nose to you.

How long does ear cartilage rhinoplasty last?

The longevity of the ear cartilage rhinoplasty procedure depends on some factors, like the technique and skill of the surgeon, the amount and quality of the ear cartilage, the individual anatomy and physiology of the patient, and the healing and maintenance of the nose.
The result of ear cartilage rhinoplasty can last for a long time, as long as there are no trauma or complications to the nose. Ear cartilage is easy to harvest, and leaves a minimal scar which is well concealed within the creases of the ear, and has a low risk of infection. Ear cartilage has a natural curvature and high flexibility that can make the shaping and lifting of the tip look more perfect. However, ear cartilage is more flimsy and naturally curved than rib or septal cartilage which makes it not ideal for straightening a crooked nose or creating a strong nasal bridge.
Therefore, the longevity of results of ear cartilage rhinoplasty may be different from person to person. Some individuals may enjoy their outcomes for decades, while others may need touch-ups or revision surgeries after some years. The best way to ensure the longevity of this surgery is to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience in this type of procedure, follow their pre-op and post-op instructions carefully, and take good care of the nose and ear after the operation.

Ear cartilage rhinoplasty in Iran

There are a lot of reasons why so many people from all around the world travel to Iran to get their various surgeries. The low prices and high quality of these medical services are the two main reasons for the popularity of Iran. The low prices here are because of the low currency of this country and therefore the prices are not related to the low quality of these surgeries. Patients have this opportunity to get the best quality surgery and save an amount of money at the same time.
Iranian plastic surgeons are well-experienced in this field. They have completed their education at the top universities in the world and they have also performed many successful surgeries.
Nowadays, thanks to medical tourism facilitators, patients can get their various surgeries in every country they want and experience good travel.
Ermateb is a medical tourism facilitator in Iran. Our team’s goal is to help international patients, especially those who come from the Middle East, to experience the best treatment in Iran. Patients can reach us via WhatsApp, or you can fill out the online form on our website.

Can I use my fat instead of ear cartilage?

Patients can use their fat instead of ear cartilage for rhinoplasty, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider. Fat grafting is a procedure that takes fat from one area of the patient’s body and reinjects it into another area, like the nose. It can be used to improve symmetry, fill in depressions, address signs of aging or damage, or provide subtle improvements to a previous rhinoplasty.
Some of the pros are:
1.It uses the person’s tissue, which decreases the risk of infection, rejection, or allergic reaction.
2.It can provide a smooth and natural appearance to your nose, especially the tip.
3.It enhances the results of other facial aesthetic treatments or procedures.
Some of the cons are:
1.It may not provide enough strength or volume to augment or straighten the bridge of your nose, especially for those who have a low or flat nasal bridge.
2.It may not last as cartilage grafts, because some of the fat may be reabsorbed by the body over time.
3.It may need multiple sessions to achieve the desired outcome, as a small amount of fat can be injected at a time.
Therefore, this may be appropriate for minor revisions or refinements of your nose, but not for major corrections or changes. The best option for rhinoplasty depends on the person’s anatomy, goals, and preferences.
Patients can also use both ear cartilage and their fat for rhinoplasty, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider. Ear cartilage and fat grafting are 2 various procedures that can be used to change the shape of the nose. They have different pros and cons depending on the anatomy, goals, and preferences of the person.

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