Dorsal Preservation: The Push Down Technique Reassessed

Aesthet Surg J. 2018 Feb 17;38(2):117-131. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjx180.


Management of the nasal dorsum remains a challenge in rhinoplasty surgery. Currently, the majority of reduction rhinoplasties results in destruction of the keystone area (K-area), which requires reconstruction with either spreader grafts or spreader flaps, both for aesthetic and functional reasons. This article will present the senior author's current operative technique for dorsal preservation in reduction rhinoplasty based on 320 clinical cases performed over a 5-year period. The author's operative technique is as follows: (1) endonasal approach; (2) removal of a septal strip in the subdorsal area whose shape and height were determined preoperatively; (3) complete lateral, transverse, and radix osteotomies; and (4) dorsal reduction utilizing either a push down operation (PDO) or a let down operation (LDO). The PDO consists of downward impaction of the fully mobilized nasal pyramid and is utilized in patients with smaller humps (Less than 4 mm). The LDO consists of a maxillary wedge resection and is performed in patients who need more than 4 mm of lowering. A total of 320 patients had a dorsal preservation operation (DPO). Postoperatively, there were no dorsal irregularities nor inverted-V deformities. Among our 44 personal revision cases, 27 patients (8.74%) had had a previous DPO, 16 of whom required tip revisions with no further dorsal surgery. Of the remaining 11 patients, the main problems were either hump recurrence and/or lateral deviation of the dorsum or widening of the middle third, which required simple surgical revision. Based on the authors' experience, adoption of a PDO/LDO is justified in selected primary patients. The key question before any primary rhinoplasty procedure should be "Can I keep the nasal dorsum intact?" Precise analysis and surgical execution are required to preserve the dorsal osseocartilaginous vault and K-area. Dorsal preservation results in more natural postoperative dorsum lines and a "not operated" aspect without the need for midvault reconstruction. Moreover, this technique is quick and easy to perform by any rhinoplasty surgeon. Rhinoplasty surgeons should consider incorporating dorsal preservation techniques in their surgical armamentarium rather than relying solely on the Joseph reduction method or an open structure rhinoplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Esthetics*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cartilages / anatomy & histology
  • Nasal Cartilages / surgery
  • Nasal Septum / anatomy & histology
  • Nasal Septum / surgery
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Rhinoplasty / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult