Background: Internal nasal valve collapse is a preventable complication of rhinoplasty, for which the spreader graft is the gold standard. More recently, the spreader flap technique has been espoused as an alternative to spreader grafting. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of this technique in a randomized trial setting.
Methods: The autospreader was used in 32 patients who were candidates for primary rhinoplasty; 34 who did not undergo a spreader flap procedure were recruited as a control group. Acoustic rhinometry was used in every patient preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. Average volume and minimal cross-sectional area (MCA) of the nose and findings were collected. Also, the pre- and postoperative patients' subjective assessment about their satisfaction from their appearance and nasal obstruction were evaluated according to visual analog scale (VAS).
Results: Among the study group patients, 46 (69.7%) were female and 20 (30.3%) were male subjects. Their mean age was 50/5 ± 6/24 years. The difference in MCA in the control group was -0.1 and +0.6 (on right and left sides, respectively), and in the spreader flap group it was -0.03 and +0.05, which showed an increase in MCA in the left side and a decrease in the opposite side of both groups. However, their difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.50). Also, the differences between preoperative and postoperative VAS were not significant in either nasal obstruction (p = 0.68) and cosmetic satisfaction (p = 0.38).
Conclusion: Spreader flap is an attractive technique in preserving the middle vault in nasal plastic surgery. However, its effect needs more evaluation.