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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Porcine cartilage model for simulation of nasal tip aesthetics and mechanics

  • Author(s): Chark, D
  • Oliaei, S
  • Manuel, C
  • Wong, BJ
  • et al.

Background: The aesthetics of the human nose is highly dependent on the complex structure of the lower lateral cartilages (LLC). Understanding optimum shape and mechanical properties of the LLC is pivotal to achieving satisfactory results in nasal tip rhinoplasty.Objective: The authors introduce an ex vivo animal model to replicate the shape and mechanics of human nasal LLC as a tool for research and surgical education.Methods: Seven fresh pig heads were obtained from a local butcher shop. Nasal cartilage was harvested in a replicable manner and fashioned into appropriate shapes and dimensions based on the authors' human cadaver studies. Sutures were placed to approximate the cartilage pairs into appropriate human anatomical position.Results: The porcine cartilage model replicated analogous structures, including the medial crura and the lateral crura, with appropriate cephalic orientation and domal angles. The anterior-posterior dimensions of the medial crura, intermediate crura, and lateral crura were 4 mm, 6 mm, and 10 mm, respectively. Cartilage thickness was approximately 1 mm throughout the specimen. Cephalic orientation of the lateral crura was sculpted to 45°. The average angle of divergence was 54° and varied according to the physiological shape of the porcine nasal vault (range, 43-74°). Average interdomal distance was 13.3 mm (range, 9-18 mm), and average domal width was 6.2 mm (range, 5-7 mm).Conclusions: This novel porcine model mimics human LLC and is inexpensive, easy to construct, and highly replicable. This model can be used as a valuable educational resource for training novice surgeons in the principles of nasal tip rhinoplasty. Additionally, our construct has broad applications in studying LLC geometry and mechanics. © 2011 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc.

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