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Groundbreaking: Surgeon Uses Cadaver Tissue for Nose Jobs

As one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, thousands of nose jobs are performed in the United States each year. While most of these involve trimming away excess tissues to straighten and smooth the appearance of the nose, some patients actually wish to add to their nose – building up a thin tip or a low bridge.

One plastic surgeon in Houston has developed a unique technique for this procedure. He pioneered the use of cadaver tissue to augment patients' natural tissue. He's used the technique on tough cases – correcting the mistakes of other surgeons and repairing nose damage caused by medical conditions or trauma.

One of his patients, Jody Skinner, damaged her nose in a boating accident. “I saw the septum of my nose was smashed, it was flat,” she said. She turned to facial plastic surgeon Dr. Russell Kridel. Reflecting on the initial consultation, Skinner said “My nose was so flat he said all the bones are gone and so is the cartilage, you have no bone and no cartilage in your nose and I thought how do you fix that? And he said oh it’s no problem I’ll just use a rib from a cadaver.”

The idea might seem a bit unusual –especially for those who are squeamish – but it's not like the tissue is taken right off the body and implanted into the patient's nose. First, the rib tissue is removed. After it has passed similar screenings to those used for donated blood and organs, it is donated to a tissue bank. It arrives to Dr. Kridel in a jar.

Dr. Kridel explains the usefulness of this donated rib cartilage: “We’re using it to re-build structure in noses that have been damaged either through previous surgery or previous infection or through injury.” While it's possible to rebuild the structure of the nose using the patient's own cartilage, usually taken from an ear or rib, this can be painful and leaves a second area that must heal. According to Dr. Kridel, cadaver tissue makes the surgical process go smoother. He says that “this cartilage reacted no differently than if we had taken the patients own rib cartilage, no higher risks associated with using this donor cartilage.”

What do you think of this unusual surgical technique? Read more about it here:


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