Q: I’m Filipina with a flat bulbous nose. I was wondering if harvesting rib cartilage, how long will it fully heal? My PS says he needs to use rib cartilage for a significant change. I also want to get a breast augmentation done 3 months after Asian rhinoplasty, but I am worried because my PS will have to operate on my chest to harvest my rib cartilage for my nose that it will take a while to heal.
A: For the most significant change in Asian rhinoplasty, rib cartilage is the best choice for a number of reasons. The rib and chest will be somewhat sore for the first 4-5 days after surgery, and sutures are removed a week after surgery. By the second week, most of this soreness has resolved and patients may resume light exercise after 2 weeks. At this point the incision line is typically well-healed. By 4 weeks full exercise may resume. A 2 cm linear scar hidden in the crease below your breast is all that remains by this point.
The incision for rib cartilage harvest is typically smaller and more medially placed than the incision for breast augmentation, and should not affect it. Nearly a third of my female patients have had breast augmentation, and the rib harvest is performed entirely below the breast, and does not interfere with the implant or breast at all.