Alar rim deformities

B Guyuron
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2001, 107 (3): 856-63
Alar disharmony is one of the most common abnormalities observed after a rhinoplasty. This article describes three classes in addition to Gunter's classifications of alar/columella deformities, which include concave ala, convex ala caused by convex lateral crus, and convex ala caused by thick alar tissues. These deformities are best visualized from the basilar view. The different surgical techniques for correction of true alar abnormalities are presented. The alar convexity, when it is the result of a misshapen cartilage, is corrected using a lateral crura spanning suture, posterior transection of the lateral crura, or transdomal suture. A thick ala, resulting in convexity, can be thinned through either a direct incision on the ala or an incision in the alar base. A lateral crura strut, an onlay graft, or a rim graft eliminates the concavity. For a slight retraction, an alar rim cartilage graft is an optimal choice. For significant alar retractions, the author's preferred technique is an internal V-to-Y advancement, which is described in detail. An elliptical excision of the alar lining will effectively correct the hanging ala. These techniques have been used to correct alar disharmonies on 58 patients. One patient from the V-Y advancement group exhibited a small area of alar necrosis, and two early patients demonstrated an overcorrection; all were easily resolved with revision surgery. By carefully identifying nasal base and alar abnormalities, harmony can be established to correct an undesirable appearance.

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