Rhinoplasty : Surgical Techniques (Reconstructing Nose)

The effectiveness of a rhinoplasty reconstruction of the external nose derives from the contents of the surgeon’s armamentarium of skin-flap techniques applicable to correcting defects of the nasal skin and of the mucosal lining;

Here are some of the surgical management techniques:

I. The bilobed flap
The design of the bilobed flap derives from the creation of two adjacent random transposition flaps (lobes). In its original design, the leading flap is applied to cover the defect, and the second flap, is emplaced where the skin flexes more, and fills the donor-site wound (from where the first flap was harvested), which then is closed primarily, with sutures. The first flap is oriented geometrically, at 90 degrees from the long axis of the wound (defect), and the second flap is oriented 180 degrees from the axis of the wound. Although effective, the bilobed flap technique did create troublesome “dog ears” of excess flesh that required trimming and it also produced a broad skin-donor area that was difficult to confine to the nose.

II. Nasolabial flap
The nasolabial flap can be either superiorly based or inferiorly based; of which the superiorly based flap is the more practical rhinoplastic application, because it has a more versatile arc of rotation, and the donor-site scar is inconspicuous. Depending upon the how the defect lay upon the nose, the flap pedicle-base can be incorporated either solely to the nasal reconstruction, or it can be divided into a second stage procedure. The blood supply for the flap pedicle are the transverse branches of the contralateral angular artery (the facial artery terminus parallel to the nose), and by a confluence of blood vessels from the angular artery and from the supraorbital artery in the medial canthus, (the angles formed by the meeting of the upper and lower eyelids). Therefore, the incisions for harvesting the nasolabial flap do not continue posteriorly beyond the medial canthal tendon. The nasolabial flap is a random flap that is emplaced with the proximal (near) portion resting upon the lateral wall of the nose, and the distal (far) portion resting upon the cheek, which contains the main angular artery, and so is perfused with retrograde arterial flow.

III. The paramedian forehead flap
The paramedian forehead flap is the premier autologous skin graft for the reconstruction of a nose, by replacing any of the aesthetic nasal subunits, especially regarding the problems of different tissue thickness and skin color. The forehead flap is an axial skin flap based upon the supraorbital artery (an ophthalmic artery branch) and the supratrochlear artery (an ophthalmic artery terminus), which can be thinned to the subdermal plexus in order to enhance the functional and aesthetic outcome of the nose. Restricted length is a practical application limit of the paramedian forehead flap, especially when the patient has a low frontal hairline. In such a patient, a small portion of scalp skin can be included to the flap, but it does have a different skin texture and does continue growing hair; such mismatching is avoided with the transverse emplacement of the flap along the hairline; yet that portion of the skin flap is random, and so risks a greater incidence of necrosis.
The paramedian forehead flap has two disadvantages, one operational and one aesthetic: Operationally, the reconstruction of a nose with a paramedian forehead flap is a two-stage surgical procedure, which might a problem for the patient whose health (surgical suitability) includes significant, secondary medical risks. Nonetheless, the second stage of the nasal reconstruction can be performed with the patient under local anaesthesia. Aesthetically, although the flap donor-site scar heals well, it is noticeable, and thus difficult to conceal, especially in men.

IV. Septal mucosal flap
The septal mucosal tissue flap is the indicated technique for correcting defects of the distal half of the nose, and for correcting almost every type of large defect of the mucosal lining of the nose. The septal mucosal tissue flap, which is an anteriorly based pedicle-graft supplied with blood by the septal branch of the superior labial artery. To perform such a nasal correction, the entire septal mucoperichondrial can be harvested.

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