Cartilage melting in rhinoplasty

, Rhinoplasty
Aug 7, 2022  0 comments

It is unusual for the cartilage to melt in patients who have undergone rhinoplasty. The cartilages may melt in very specific reasons,

Does cartilage melt in the nose without surgery?

No, it won’t melt. However, as the age progresses, perhaps after the age of 70, the cartilages may not be as strong as before. This is a different situation.

In which patients cartilage melts?

If we list the conditions that will cause cartilage loss in rhinoplasty:

  1. Heavy smokers: Since cigarette smoke will reduce the oxygen rate in the blood, the cartilage used during surgery may not receive enough oxygen. In this case, the cartilages that cannot be fed may melt. Many nose plastic surgeons do not want to operate on patients with serious cigarette smoking, such as 2-3 packs a day.
  2. cocaine etc. Substance use: Substances taken into the nose in the early postoperative period may cause a loss of cartilage.
  3. Infection development:  Infection after rhinoplasty is a very rare condition. Many surgeons do not experience an infection in the nose after plastic surgery throughout their lives. However, if the nose becomes inflamed, the inflammation that occurs here can lead to melting of the cartilage.
  4. Using cadaveric cartilages: Rib cartilages obtained from cadavers are prepared and sold industrially. There is no harm in this in terms of health. It is not widely used in the world. However, cartilages used from cadavers may not be as compatible as the person’s own rib cartilage. Cadaveric cartilages are slightly more prone to melting.


Diced cartilages:

Sometimes at the end of the surgery, the material we create by chopping the cartilage in our hands like grains of sand to fill some empty spaces may melt in the place where it is placed. In this method, known as the Turkish delight technique, these chopped cartilages can melt.

How do patients understand that their cartilage is melting?

When the cartilage melts, the shape of the nose begins to deteriorate. Patients do not know whether the cartilage melts or not. They just see the disfigurement. The doctor, who opened the nose in a second surgery, realizes that there is a meltdown when he sees that the cartilages he put on are missing.

When does cartilage melting begin and end?

The cartilages can start right in the first days of the surgery. During the first 1 year, there may be cartilage melting. However, the possibility of cartilage melting in the following years is negligible.

Prof. Dr. Salih Aydin

Istinye University Faculty of Medicine,

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Lecturer

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