Nose Reconstruction using a Nasolabial Flap: Dr. Brenner’s approach to skin cancer reconstruction

Nasolabial Flap for Nose Reconstruction

Nasolabial Flap for Nasal Reconstruction

Interesting nose reconstruction case in a Los Angeles skin cancer patient: Reconstruction of a nasal skin cancer defect:

This patient presented to me for nose reconstruction of this large defect of the left ala and cheek. The patient underwent Moh’s excision of an infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Unfortunately, the tumor involved the near entirety of the left nasal ala, as well as a portion of the medial aspect of the cheek near the nasal sidewall.

Pictured here is the surgical defect along with the markings for the planned reconstruction.  Since about 90% of the nasal ala was involved by tumor, the entire nasal subunit required reconstruction.  In this case, a staged reconstruction with a pedicled naso-labial flap was performed.  During the first stage, a template is created using the contralateral nasal ala (i.e. the intact nasal ala from the other side of the nose). This is then marked out over the projection of the skin flap on the affected side. A piece of the ear cartilage is harvested and then sewn into the defect in order to lend adequate structural support. Then the naso-labial flap is elevated, trimmed to the appropriate dimensions and then sewn into place within the defect.  A bridge of tissue is left undisturbed in order to provide a healthy, adequate blood supply.

Watch this video of Dr. Brenner performing this stage one operation on a patient with a similar problem:


During the second stage of this reconstruction (about 3 weeks after the first operation), the bridge of skin and soft tissue is divided and is contoured to the correct dimensions. At this point, most reconstructions are complete.

Watch this video of a Stage two procedure being performed by Dr. Brenner:


However, some patients will require a minor third stage operation around 6-12 months afterward for the purpose of thinning out the flap.

Below is a video of this procedure performed on a similar patient:


View the patient’s before and after photos.

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