Rib Cartilage

“What Is Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty?”

Rib cartilage rhinoplasty is VIP’s premium rhinoplasty that uses your own natural rib cartilage to fully design the nose from basement to tip. This surgery can be performed using the natural rib cartilage 100% or it can be combined with a silicone implant for the partial use. At VIP, we do not utilize donor cartilages but rather harvest the natural rib cartilage to keep the highest naturality and minimize the side effects.
Rib cartilage used to be the material for revision rhinoplasty for patients with severe short nose due to repeated revision rhinoplasty and infection.However, nowadays, rib cartilage rhinoplasty is performed not only to increase the dorsum height and length of the nose and tip projection, but also to create a facial harmony and balance.Therefore, after rhinoplasty rib cartilage, mouth protrusion will be corrected and large cheekbone and jawline will be improved.

Doctor’s Message

“Rhinoplasty is like building an architecture which requires a strong structure from the baseline to the tip with a taste of an artistic mind.”
Nose surgery does not simply mean inserting a foreign implant to the nose bridge. Tipplasty is the most important and challenging feature of nose surgerywhichit requires 90% of the time structuring and designing the nose that is harmonized along with facial features. If you wish to undergo nose surgery without any foreign implant, rib cartilage is the right choice for you. However, finding the right doctor for rib cartilage nose surgery is critical. If rib cartilage is harvested by an undertrained doctor, many complications may occur. Harvesting 100% natural rib cartilage, designing, and making a nasal structure are challenging which requires numerous experience and artistic mind to successfully perform the nose surgery.

Operation Information

  • Surgery Time :    2-3 Hours
  • Anesthesia Type :    General Anesthesia
  • Hospitalization :    0-1 Day
  • Stitch Removal :    7 Days
  • Recovery Time :    1-2 Weeks

Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty Surgery Method

Unlike cadaver rib cartilages (donated rib cartilage), VIP doctors use true autologous rib cartilage that is freshly harvested from your own body. When harvesting a rib cartilage (not a rib bone! it is an unnecessary rib cartilage), there will be 2-3cm of incision right underneath the breast line which will be almost invisible after few months. Then the rib cartilage is designed to construct the basement of the nose to strongly create a harmonized nose.

Zero Implant – About Natural Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty

01)  The amount of rib cartilage is abundant.
In a human body, there are 12 rib cartilages placed on each side of the frontal part of the rib bones. Rib cartilage number 6 to 10 are used in rhinoplasty and number 7 is the most common one since it is the straightest material. Therefore, it can be used in various ways for rhinoplasty.

02)  Minimal scarring.
Since the incision will take place along the under breast line, scarring will be minimal. Therefore, the scar will fade after 6-12 months and will be on the folded line under the breast.

03)  Absorption is minimal.
In contrast to a donated (cadaver) rib cartilage, autologous rib cartilage tissue has minimal absorption.

04)  Resistant to infection.
Autologous rib cartilage is resistant to an infection. Therefore, it can be used for very low nose and secondary deformity nose. It is especially the preferred grafting material to correct the secondary deformed nose, such as thepreviously infected nose, contracted nose, and short nose deformity.

05)  Rib cartilage requires a special technology to prevent warping, asymmetry, absorption, scarring and to lengthen the tissue.
It is very important to choose the right doctor with a lot of research and experience. If rib cartilage is used by an undertrained doctor, a lot of problems may occur. The reason is that training for harvesting, carving the rib cartilage, making the nasal structure, and getting the sense of art about human body requires a significant learning curve.

About the Scarring Around the Ribs

For Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty, VIP Plastic Surgery performs a minimum incision(2-3M) along the line underneath the breast line to minimize the scar.

Are you worried about having a scarring near the ribs? It is common to concern about the scarring due to the incision line from harvesting the rib cartilage. However, VIP Plastic Surgery performs a minimum incision (2-3cm) with a special technique to solve this problem. The incision line follows along the line underneath the breast line and therefore the line becomes almost invisible. If this incision line is taken care of with a proper post-care, the incision line eventually fades away over the time.

Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty for Asians

Most Asians have a short depressed nose, retruded columella, and mid-face retrusion. In these circumstances, there are a lot of complications such as infection, displaced silicone, extrusion, and skin thinning when inserting implants such as silicone or Goretex. Thus, most Asian noses require a surgery using autologous cartilages, which includes the elongation of the nose, projection of the tip, as well as augmentation of dorsum and mid-face. However, septal cartilage is weak and not enough in theamount due to theshort nose. Ear cartilage is also weak, small involume and irregular in shape to support the nasal structure.Therefore, rib cartilage is a most useful choice of material to perform the rhinoplasty in Asian noses such as theshort nose, damaged nose, infected nose and mid-face retrusion case because rib cartilage is enough in amount, strong to support nasal structure, and safe due to its autologous nature.

Why Is the Rib Cartilage Superior Material than Others?

01   The amount of rib cartilage is abundant compared to septal or ear cartilage which is not limited to design the nose.

02   Natural material, natural tissue.

03   Permanent result.

04   Scarring is minimal underneath the breast line.

05   Absorption is minimal compared to the cadaver rib cartilage.

06   Resistant to infection.

07   Rib cartilage Incorporates into the body over time as if you are born with the structured nose.

Why Does VIP Not Use Donated (Cadaver) Rib Cartilage?

There are donated rib cartilages that are available for people who are extremely afraid of having their rib cartilages extracted from their body. This commercialized rib cartilage is good in that patients do not have to undergo the extraction process. However, there are a lot of complications in the long term, as it is not an autologous material. This donated rib cartilage is recommended for people who are severely injured so that they cannot possibly use their own cartilage.

01   There is a high chance of getting infected. After the infection, it is hard to cure and can cause damage in the nasal soft.

02   As time goes by, the cartilage absorption rate will become higher after a number of years, and it will be absorbed almost 100%.

03   A detailed structure cannot be made since the tissue is very weak.

04   It can break easily due to its lack of elasticity.

05   There will be a lot of capsule forming since it is a foreign material.

06   Diseases like hepatitis, HIV, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can be transmitted. Therefore, in some countries, cadaver rib cartilage is illegal to use for the medical and cosmetic operations.

Ideal Candidates for Rib Cartilage Rhinoplasty

01   Contracted nose due to infection & multiple surgeries

02   Short nose

03   Protruded mouth (Harmony Rhinoplasty)

04   Retruded mid-face

05   Flat nose

06   Nose with injected foreign body

07   Cleft lip nose deformity

08   Damaged nose from accident or multiple surgeries


Incision to harvest rib cartilage is located along the lower breast line for the best result. The incision is about 3-4cm, which will slowly disappear over time.
Scarring is a normal part of the healing process. But, with the right technique and time, scars fade away and become invisible.
Unless it is for special case, Dr. Lee does not use diced rib cartilage. For most cases, he designs and carves single cartilage for the bridge and make the structure.
In order to remove any possible complications caused by a non-autologous tissue, Dr. Lee prefers to use patient’s own cartilage for rhinoplasty. By using your own tissue, a risk of using ‘foreign’ material can be removed, to provide a safe and stable result.
Yes, it is possible to harvest rib cartilage after having breast surgery. Incision line to harvest rib cartilage will be right along the under breast line, which the scar becomes invisible over time.
Yes, Dr. Lee carefully counts, measures and gives a shape to the cartilage taking into consideration the possible rate of absorption into account to avoid any warping and undesirable shrinking. These techniques require extensive experience and know-how.

Contact Us

If you would like to receive VIP doctor’s comments regarding your interested treatment or surgeries, feel free to contact us via mobile messenger app. Please let us know your interested areas with clear photos (front and side) for a free online consultation. Your photos will be privately used for consultation purposes only.

+82 10 5059 6626

Available via WhatsApp