JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Reconstruction of nasal cutaneous defects in Asians.

OBJECTIVES: Proper selection of reconstruction method is the key point to get a successful result in nasal reconstruction. The purposes of this study are to report the author's experience and to present a surgical algorithm in reconstruction of the nasal defects in Asian.

METHODS: Retrospective medical record analysis was performed for 40 patients who underwent nasal reconstruction between March 1996 and February 2006 at a tertiary referral hospital. Male to female ratio was 24:16, average age was 56 years, and average follow-up period was 25 months. Etiology, location, size, reconstruction method and surgical results were analyzed.

RESULTS: Majority of the defects (36/40) resulted from resection of a neoplasm. Among tumors, basal cell carcinoma accounted for 75% (27/36) followed by squamous cell carcinoma 8% (3/36). The defect was located in the dorsum in 11 cases, lateral wall in 9, ala in 8, tip in 4, and involved more than two sites in 8. In 2/3 of the cases, the defect size was less than 2cm. Local flap was used in 29 cases, primary closure in 6 cases, and skin graft in 5 cases. Among local flaps, nasolabial flap was useful for defects of the ala and multiple subunits while large nasal tip defects needed forehead flap. Transposition flaps were used for the small to medium sized defects of the nasal sidewall or dorsum. Reinforcement cartilage graft was used in 9 cases. Second stage refinement procedure was performed in 2 patients. Partial necrosis resulted in 2 cases but none ended up in total loss.

CONCLUSIONS: A local flap is the most versatile method for reconstruction of cutaneous defects of the Asian nose. The site and size of the defect are key considerations in choosing the local flap. Asian skin characteristics influence the design, execution, and the outcomes of the local flap.

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