Who is a Candidate for Nasal Reconstruction?
Surgery to reconstruct the nose may be required following removal of cancer, for trauma, or for congenital (birth) defects. The goal of nasal reconstruction is to restore both the form and function of the nose.
How is Nasal Reconstruction Performed?
The three-dimensional structure of the nose is formed by three main layers: the inner lining tissue, the middle structural support comprised of bone and cartilage, and the outer covering tissue (skin). Each of these layers may need reconstruction depending on the location, size, shape, and depth of the nasal defect or deformity. In some cases, other surrounding areas of the face including the cheeks, eyelids, or upper lip may also be involved and require reconstruction.
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Understanding the Surgery
Your surgeon may use a variety of surgical techniques to reconstruct the nose depending on the location, size, shape, and depth of the nasal defect or deformity including:
- Suture closure
- Secondary-intention healing
- Skin grafts
- Local flaps
- Regional flaps (cheek or forehead flaps)
- Cartilage grafts
Each of these techniques has advantages and disadvantages, and multiple techniques may be used in combination for some cases.
Small defects can often be reconstructed in a single procedure in Chicago Surgical Specialists’ surgical suite using local anesthesia or under light sedation.
Large defects, involving multiple layers of the nose or larger areas of the nose, may require a staged approach with multiple surgeries over the course of several weeks under general anesthesia. In some cases, it may be necessary to take additional cartilage from the nasal septum, ears, hip or ribs in order to help support the nasal reconstruction and provide a structural framework for the reconstruction.