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Donor Rib Cartilage Has History of Success in Nasal Reconstructive Surgery

Donor Rib Cartilage Has History of Success in Nasal Reconstructive Surgery

updated

Medical experts say irradiated rib cartilage taken from cadavers works well as a material for nasal reconstructive plastic surgery, known as rhinoplasty. A report in the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery of the American Medical Association (AMA) says using cadaver cartilage in some rhinoplasty procedures has advantages over transplanting cartilage from the patient's own body.

To make cadaver cartilage suitable for rhinoplasty, it is first checked for systemic diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. If the tissue passes those tests, it is bombarded with radiation to sterilize it, then stored in a sterile saline solution. According to a peer-reviewed article at the Web site MedPage Today, these steps significantly reduce the chance of tissue rejection. The article says the long-term success rate is nearly 97 percent.

The AMA archive article notes that cadaver cartilage is readily available in sufficient quantities to avoid removing cartilage from the patient's own body, when that is not the best choice. While the patient's cartilage is sometimes the preferred source, for reasons of compatibility, in other cases the cartilage most easily transplanted may be too thin for rebuilding a nose. Other source sites, more difficult to access, might present the potential for surgical complications or scarring.

Researchers say they are constantly looking for new materials that could make reconstructive rhinoplasty less complicated.

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