Structural Graft

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The surgical removal of skin cancer will result in what is referred to as a defect-an opening or wound where the skin cancer once existed. Skin cancer defects vary depending on the size, location, and depth of the previous skin cancer. If defects are not reconstructed properly, it can result in unsightly and unnecessary scarring. When faced with a skin cancer diagnosis, learn about the expected treatment outcome and consider the professional opinion of an experienced facial plastic surgeon.

About Structural Graft

When a skin cancer is removed from the ear or nose, the remaining defect may be deep enough to involve the cartilage below. Cartilage is the stiff, supporting structure which creates the shape of the outer ear and nose. When a portion of this cartilage is removed, it often needs to be replaced in order for the structure to maintain its previous shape.


When cartilage grafting is required, a donor site is first selected by choosing an area that will remain inconspicuous and has the appropriate shaped cartilage. Cartilage grafts may be harvested from the nasal septal cartilage, ear cartilage, or the costal cartilage of the ribs. If the ear is being repaired, the graft is often taken from behind the ear. If the nose is being reconstructed, the graft would most likely be taken from the nasal septum, which divides the nasal passages. Small pieces of cartilage are taken from the donor site and custom shaped to recreate the missing structure which was removed.The grafts are strategically placed and secured like a framework beneath the skin until the desired supporting structure is achieved.The reconstruction of the overlying skin is then completed.

Do you have skin cancer in a sensitive area?

Orange County patients the most cosmetically conscious reconstructive treatments possible. Ask your dermatologist to refer you today. 

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