The strengthened stair-step technique for correction of lateral crural malpositioning

Ibrahim Ercan, Denizhan Dizdar, Barış Erdoğan
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2014, 38 (5): 869-75

BACKGROUND: Currently, clinicians better understand the functional and aesthetic consequences of a cephalic malpositioned lateral crus of the lower lateral cartilage, which was identified 30 years ago. Functionally, cephalic malpositioning causes alar support deficiency, which results in external valve insufficiency. Cosmetically, it causes alae nasi retraction, alar bracket deformity, boxiness, and underprojection of the nasal tip. The stair-step technique, defined by Boccieri and Raimondi, is an effective repositioning technique for the repair of this deformity. The strengthened stair-step technique, a combination of the lateral crural-rim graft and the stair-step technique, is described in this article.

METHODS: In this study, designed as a prospective case series, the strengthened stair-step technique was performed for 62 patients (43 women and 19 men; mean age, 27.3 years) between November 2009 and December 2012. Because 12 patients did not attend follow-up visits regularly, their outcomes could not be evaluated. These patients were excluded from the study. Pre- and postoperative photos of all the patients were taken.

RESULTS: Aesthetic evaluations showed that six patients were not satisfied with their results, four patients had complaints about the nasal tip (1 had asymmetry and 3 had alar stiffness and/or thickness), and two patients had nasal dorsum complaints. Functional evaluation showed that four patients had slight dissatisfaction with their breathing. They reported continuing collapse in the valve area with inspiration. The remaining patients were satisfied with their results.

CONCLUSION: The strengthened stair-step technique is a safe and effective technique for correcting not only lateral crus cephalic malpositioning but also alar rim retraction and external valve collapse.

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