Restorative rhinoplasty in the aging patient

C. Spencer Cochran, Yadranko Ducic, Robert J. DeFatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to review our favorable experience in performing rhinoplasty in aging patients. METHODS: All patients aged 65 years or greater who underwent rhinoplasty, either esthetic or functional, by the senior author (Y.D.) from August 1997 to July 2005 with a minimum follow up of 1 year were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: A total of 51 patients met the inclusion criteria and had complete records available for review. The average age was 69.5 years (range, 65-82 years) with 24 female and 27 male patients. All but two patients underwent open rhinoplasty. Eighteen procedures represented secondary rhinoplasties. Seven patients required auricular cartilage grafts, and 11 patients required costal cartilage grafts. One costal cartilage graft was aborted as a result of excessive calcification. All patients underwent columellar strut placement, 92% underwent internal valve grafts, and 80.4% underwent grafting of the external nasal valves. Nasal osteotomies were performed in only 23.5% of patients, all with the percutaneous technique. Revision surgery was necessary in only three (5.8%) patients, all of whom required grafting of the external valve (not performed primarily). In each of these cases, no significant external valve collapse was noted preoperatively. Premaxillary augmentation with diced or crushed cartilage grafts was performed in 81.8% (n = 18) of patients with an edentulous maxillary arch. CONCLUSIONS: Aging patients present unique technical challenges in rhinoplasty that warrant a comprehensive approach to restore internal and external valve competency and tip support. Consideration of prophylactic external valve grafts in addition to the routine use of internal valve grafts and columellar struts may help decrease the need for revision surgery in this patient population. Reasonable functional and esthetic outcomes can be expected in the aging patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-807
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007


  • Airway obstruction
  • Elderly
  • Plastic surgery
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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