Objective: To assess the long-term efficacy of irradiated homologous rib grafts (IHRGs) for both augmentation and support function in rhinoplasty in general and for specific recipient sites within the nose.
Design: A retrospective study was conducted at an academic medical center to evaluate the loss of volume and support function of IHRGs in 9 specific recipient sites in the nose.
Results: We studied 66 patients, with a total of 177 IHRGs, dating back 9 years, with an average follow-up of 51 months. The rate of resorption increased with duration of follow-up. Complete resorption was found in 1 IHRG, and moderate resorption was observed in 55 IHRGs (31%). Resorption was characterized by a loss of support function rather than a loss of volume. Moderate resorption had a negative clinical outcome for shield grafts only.
Conclusions: Irradiated homologous rib grafts were safe to use in rhinoplasty. In cases requiring a shield graft, IHRGs should be avoided.