Nasal septal cartilage and conchal cartilages are preferred sources of grafts in augmentation rhinoplasty. Rib cartilage can also be used, but it may evoke a patient's concerns about a scar and an extensive surgery. In such cases, irradiated homologous costal cartilage (IHCC) can be a useful alternative. However, controversy still exists in many literatures regarding complications with use of IHCC. Therefore, the authors reviewed our experiences with IHCC in rhinoplasty and analyzed the complications in relation to graft location.
A retrospective chart review was made of all patients who underwent rhinoplasty with IHCC between 2007 and 2015. A total of 323 patients were included. The authors considered the cases that required revision surgery for external aesthetic changes as complications. The authors defined major complications, including resorption, infection, fracture, or warping.
The total complication rate was 8%. Two fractures (0.6%), 4 fragmentation (1.2%), 4 resorptions (1.2%), 4 infections (1.2%), and 2 warpings (0.6%) were noted. Most of these complications occurred for the septal extension graft. Other complications, including 1 nasal obstruction, 2 visible contours, 3 caudal septal deviations, and 4 cases of unfavorable results (patient unsatisfactions), were noted.
Based on the outcomes of this study, the authors concluded that IHCC is a useful and reliable source of cartilage graft and can serve as an alternative graft material for rhinoplasty. However, care must be taken in use of IHCC graft in areas under tension such as septal extension graft, though its complication rate is low.