Objective To describe the aesthetic and clinical outcomes following rhinoplasty using autologous costal cartilage, which is considered the best graft material for rhinoplasty requiring major reconstruction. Few studies have examined outcomes following rhinoplasty using autologous costal cartilage.
Methods A retrospective review of the data from 108 patients who underwent rhinoplasty using autologous costal cartilage between April 2006 to May 2011. The study population consisted of 81 male and 27 female patients (mean age, 33.0 years). Each patient self-assessed their aesthetic outcomes for subjective satisfaction, and 2 independent surgeons assessed aesthetic outcomes from photographs. Associated complications were also analyzed.
Results The patient self-assessment showed that 73 patients were satisfied; 16 patients stated that they felt better than they did preoperatively; and 19 patients were dissatisfied. The independent surgeons judged that 43 patients had excellent outcomes, 37 patients had good outcomes, 24 patients had fair outcomes, and 4 patients had poor outcomes. There were 13 donor site complications: 9 seromas, 1 pneumothorax, 2 keloid formations, and 1 persistent pain. There were 19 recipient site complications: 9 infections, 5 resorptions, 2 visible graft contours, 2 graft fractures, and 1 warping.
Conclusions The use of autologous costal cartilage in rhinoplasty was found to be associated with a relatively high complication rate and relatively poor aesthetic outcomes. Considering our results, autologous costal cartilage should be used with the possibility of complications in mind.