Background: Dorsal hump reduction during open rhinoplasty disrupts the continuity between the upper lateral cartilages and the dorsal septum. Options to reconstitute the midvault include primary closure of the upper lateral cartilages to the dorsal aspect of the septum, placement of spreader grafts, and creation of spreader flaps. The authors sought to clarify from highly experienced rhinoplasty surgeons their decision-making rationale for midvault reconstruction, distilling down the group consensus into algorithmic guidelines.
Methods: A panel of internationally recognized rhinoplasty surgeons participated in a two-part organized communication method. An introductory summit consisted of open discussions on various topics in midvault reconstruction. The summit transcription was analyzed by thematic content analysis to develop a survey encompassing clinical scenarios for primary rhinoplasty, which was then individually administered to each panelist. Data gathered from both parts were used to generate technical guidelines and a decision-making algorithm.
Results: The panelists identified the following anatomical features as pertinent to their selection of midvault reconstruction method: size of the dorsal hump reduction, width of the midvault relative to the upper vault, presence of dorsal angulation, and presence of nasal obstructive symptoms. Individual panelist preference was gathered from the 24-scenario survey divided into either cosmetic or functional rhinoplasty cases.
Conclusions: Management of the midvault after dorsal hump reduction is important to establish proper aesthetic relationships and to provide functional integrity of the internal valve. Our authors present an algorithmic approach to decision-making based on the systematic analysis practiced by senior rhinoplasty surgeons.