Free vascularized fascia lata flap for total columella reconstruction

Am J Otolaryngol. 2022 Jan-Feb;43(1):103226. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2021.103226. Epub 2021 Sep 11.


Introduction: Despite their relatively small size, columellar defects, including both external and internal elements, are exceedingly difficult to reconstruct. Local, regional, and distant flaps have been described for reconstruction. Herein, we present a novel technique for reconstruction of the columella using vascularized free fascia lata from the anterolateral thigh with structural replacement and skin grafting.

Methods: This novel technique utilizes a small anterolateral thigh flap, formed into vascularized fascia lata without the overlying subcutaneous fat or skin. The fascia lata is inset into the columellar and caudal septal defect after a cartilage framework is constructed and is microsurgically anastomosed to either distal facial or angular vessels. A skin graft from the ALT donor site is then secured over the fascia.

Results: This technique has been applied successfully in patients with either isolated columella or in multi-subunit reconstruction following total rhinectomy with no flap or reconstructive failures. Given the low morbidity of flap harvest and minimal access incisions, this has been reliably accomplished with short (1-2 day) hospital stays.

Conclusion: Rapid and aesthetically acceptable reconstruction of total nasal columella defects in isolation or with additional nasal subunit reconstruction, is possible utilizing this novel technique. Here we discuss pearls and pitfalls of its use following surgical resection of malignancy.

Keywords: Anterolateral thigh flap; Facial plastic surgery; Fascia lata flap; Microsurgery; Mohs defect; Nasal reconstruction; Skin cancer; columella.

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage / transplantation
  • Fascia Lata / surgery*
  • Fascia Lata / transplantation*
  • Free Tissue Flaps*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Nasal Septum / surgery*
  • Nasal Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Skin Transplantation / methods
  • Thigh / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome