Mar 16

Does a radix graft make your eyes look closer together?

An interesting question that came up on the RealSelf forum had to do with radix grafts. A radix graft is a (usually) small piece of cartilage placed at the root of your nose between your eyes. It’s meant to add height to this area and is potentially used for several reasons.

We don’t often use radix grafts but may do so when someone’s bridge has been taken down too much in this area during prior surgery. In some patients, the root of the nose starts very low giving the appearance of an exaggerated bump on the bridge or an overly shortened appearance to the nose. Because the nasal root is so deeply-set, the angle between the nose and the forehead is exaggerated.

In these cases, a radix graft can be appropriate as a better¬†alternative to taking down the bump so much that it brings the bridge too low or shortens the nose too much.¬†A radix graft can preserve or augment nasal length by giving the nose the appearance of ‘taking off’ a little higher from the forehead.

The particular question today had to do with the effect of a radix graft on the appearance of the eyes. This person had closely-set eyes to begin with and was afraid that a radix graft might worsen that appearance. It is true that a washed out nasal bridge can give the sense that your eyes are farther apart. Conversely, adding height to the bridge can theoretically give the sense that eyes are drawn closer together.

But (and this a big but here), if you are considering this question, you must think about where you are coming from. If your bridge was taken down too low during a previous surgery and you are considering adding back some natural height and length to balance your nose, then the impact of a radix graft on the appearance of your eye width will be minimal.

On the other hand, improving a washed out appearance of your bridge would have the effect of creating more nasal narrowing and refinement from the frontal view. And, this is hopefully what you’re trying to accomplish. So, while we consider any graft carefully before recommending it, a radix graft is sometimes just the right fit for the problem at hand. For more information about nasal aesthetics, check out our online rhinoplasty textbook.

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