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Gore-Tex (also known as Goretex and ePTFE) implants are occasionally used in revision rhinoplasty. The most common use of the Goretex implant is in the bridge of the nose for correction of saddle nose deformity, pollybeak deformity, or for augmentation of the bridge. Goretex implants are moldable and can be carved and shaped prior to placement inside the nose.
- No donor incision (i.e. rib or ear) is needed
- Goretex is not structurally strong and cannot be used to lengthen a short nose, provide tip support, or correct significant deviations in cartilage
- Goretex is prone to infection and if infected it typically needs to be removed
Rib cartilage grafts are an alternative to Goretex. Autologous rib cartilage grafts (obtained from the patient) can accomplish everything that Goretex can with the added benefit of resisting infection, but they do require an incision on the chest.
Cadaveric rib cartilage grafts (obtained from a cadaver) do not resist infection like autologous rib cartilage, and if an infection occurs the cadaver rib cartilage will often resorb (disappear). Cadaver rib cartilage also comes with a potential of human-to-human disease transmission
Other synthetic implants such as Medpor and Silicone are alternatives to Goretex. Silicone is more likely to move and shift than Goretex. Medpor is more rigid than Goretex but is less likely to shift and move than Silicone.
Synthetic implants typically do not require any special care after surgery other than the need for a course of antibiotics and awareness of the possibility of infection. If a Goretex implant is infected the signs can be redness, pain, warmth, swelling, drainage from the nose, foul smell, drainage through the skin, and in extreme situations fever and chills. If this occurs the implant typically needs to be removed to successfully resolve the infection.