Reconstruction of the Nose: Management of Nasal Cutaneous Defects According to Aesthetic Subunit and Defect Size. A Review

Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Nov 25;56(12):639. doi: 10.3390/medicina56120639.


The nose represents the most common site for the presentation of cutaneous cancer, especially in sun-exposed areas: ala, dorsum, and tip. Even the smallest loss of substance can create aesthetic and psychosocial concerns for patients; therefore, surgeons who perform nasal reconstruction should be strictly confident with the pertinent surgical anatomy in order to tailor the procedure to the patient's condition and needs. Radical tumor excision and satisfactory aesthetic and functional results are primary targets. Restoring the original shape is the goal of any reconstruction: appropriate reshaping of three-dimensional geometry, proper establishment of symmetry, and excellent color and texture match to the adjacent structures are paramount features. Multiple options exist to re-establish functional and aesthetic integrity after surgical oncology; nevertheless, the management of nasal defects can be often challenging, and the gold standard is yet to be found. The current goal is to highlight some of the more common techniques used to reconstruct cutaneous defects of the nose with a specific focus on decision making based on the aesthetic subunit and defect size. The authors attempt to share common pitfalls and offer practical suggestions that they have found helpful in their clinical experience.

Keywords: algorithm; bilobed flap; dorsal nasal flap; local flap; nasal defect; nasal reconstruction; nasal tip; nose reconstruction; skin cancer; skin graft.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / surgery
  • Esthetics
  • Humans
  • Nose / surgery
  • Nose Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Rhinoplasty*
  • Skin Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Surgical Flaps