Nasal Implants May Have a Higher Infection Rate After a Rhinoplasty

Commonly in revision and ethnic rhinoplasties, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, the nose must be augmented or made bigger.  In these instances, the nose is reconstructed using either:

–  Your bodies own natural cartilage

–  Implants composed of Gortex or plastic (Medpore)


There are instances where implants are appropriate, but I mainly use the patient’s naturally occurring cartilage during a rhinoplasty.  Implants do have some advantages:

–  Shorter operating time

–  Easier for the surgeon

–  No need for a second location to operate and its associated risks


Cartilage has the following advantages:

–  No chance of rejection

–  Decreased chance of infection

–  Natural


Cartilage can be taken from the:

1)  Nasal Septum

2)  Ear

3)  Rib


A new study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery demonstrated that the infection rate after a rhinoplasty was higher in patients that had a nasal implant.  The 2 types of nasal implant studies were Gortex and Medpore.  20% of patients that had a Medpore implant and 5% of patients with a Gortex implant developed an infection after the rhinoplasty.

This study highlights that there are risks in using implants in the nose.  This is not to say that implants should never be used in the nose, but should be used with careful thought.  There are other studies that have shown a very low infection rate with Gortex in primary rhinoplasties.

This is an example that highlights the importance of patients understanding the risk and benefits of not only the surgical procedure, but also understanding the pros and cons of the different surgical techniques during an ethnic or revision rhinoplasty.  As a rhinoplasty specialist in Charlotte, I take my time to explain these issues to my patients before they undergo surgery in order for them to better understand whether their nose should be augmented with natural cartilage or a nasal implant.


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