Rhinoplasty is a very complex surgical procedure that can accomplish a number of aesthetic and functional goals. Because of the wide variety of outcomes that can be achieved, there are a number of different tools and techniques that can be employed to customize the procedure and give the patient the results he or she desires. Grafts are a common tool in rhinoplasty, used to build up or reshape the nose in a number of different ways. There are several types of grafts, which can be made from natural cartilage or synthetic materials. One common and versatile type of graft is known as the spreader graft. But what is a spreader graft, and what purposes can it be used for?
What is a Spreader Graft?
A spreader graft is a common type of foundation graft that can be used for a number of purposes, both cosmetic and functional. Spreader grafts are placed in the middle portion of the nose to provide strength, stabilization, foundation, or to widen the nasal valve. They can be placed using either an open or closed rhinoplasty technique.
Cosmetic Uses of Spreader Grafts
When a surgeon decides to use a spreader graft for cosmetic reasons, there is usually a functional link to the need. The middle of the nasal bridge may appear narrow, pinched or crooked due to a functional issue that can cause breathing problems or nasal collapse. Placing a spreader graft can help the patient in two ways: it can both improve nasal function and correct imperfections in the nose.
Cosmetic use of spreader grafts usually involves placing the graft to correct a congenital asymmetry or repair a collapse in one side of the nose. Placing the graft can help straighten the nose and provide a good foundation for further aesthetic improvements. They are commonly used to help strengthen the nose following dorsal hump removal as well. These versatile grafts can even be used to help lengthen the nose.
Functional Uses of Spreader Grafts
The use of spreader grafts for functional purposes is necessary for a wide variety of patients. As maintaining the structural integrity of the nose is as important as creating a beautiful result, spreader grafts are often used to add support to the nose or repair issues caused by genetics or a prior rhinoplasty. Narrow nasal valves, valve collapse, asymmetry, weak cartilage, or weakened structure from a previous rhinoplasty are all reasons a spreader graft might come into play.
Spreader grafts are made out of cartilage, which can be harvested from a number of different sources.The preferred source for grafting material is the nasal septum itself; however, if the amount of cartilage in this location is too scarce (typical during revision rhinoplasty), then cartilage may be taken from the ear. If both these options are exhausted, the rib cartilage can be used to create a natural graft.
Spreader grafts carry no specific risks beyond general rhinoplasty risks, as they are a common graft made of the body’s own cartilage. The only concern might be over-widening of the nose using a spreader graft; however, a poor aesthetic outcome is unusual if the surgery is performed by a board certified rhinoplasty specialist.
Each rhinoplasty procedure is different, and your surgeon will need to spend time with you planning your surgery and discussing your goals. Due to the number of techniques available to modern plastic surgeons, exciting results are possible, and it has never been easier to tailor the nose reshaping procedure to each patient. Most surgeons today are focused on natural results that complement the patient’s features and perform well functionally. Rhinoplasty specialists like Dr. Stuart Bentkover, of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery, know that a good rhinoplasty should last a lifetime. If you would like to speak with Dr. Bentkover concerning your rhinoplasty plans, contact Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033), MA to schedule your consultation. You may also view Dr. Bentkover’s before and after rhinoplasty photos to see the impressive results that he has achieved for his patients.