Nonanatomic free cartilage batten grafting with second intention healing for defects on the distal nose

Omar A. Ibrahimi, Tracy Campbell, Summer Youker, Daniel B Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Defects of the distal nose, particularly the nasal ala, pose a reconstructive challenge due to the lack of loose adjacent tissue and proximity to a free margin. Objective: We report our experience using nonanatomic free cartilage batten grafts in combination with second intention healing for nasal ala defects. Methods: A retrospective study of distal nose defects repaired using nonanatomic free cartilage batten grafting with second intention healing was performed. Detailed data on the quality of the scar, post-operative complications, free margin distortion, functional impairments, and patient satisfaction were recorded. Digital images were also shown to an experienced fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon to assess the overall aesthetic outcome using a 5-point score ranging from poor to excellent. Results: Sixteen subjects were included in the study. Complications were common, but minor. Five (∼31%) subjects had subtle contour depressions, three (∼18%) subjects had excessive granulation tissue, two (∼12%) subjects had post-operative ear pain at the donor site lasting up to 10 days, and one (∼6%) subject had a hypertrophic scar at the recipient site. There were two occurrences (∼12%) of mild alar notching but no occurrences of significant alar margin distortion or nasal valve dysfunction. In terms of aesthetic outcome, seven (∼43%) were assessed by an independent fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon as having excellent aesthetic outcomes, six (∼38%) were very good, and three (∼19%) were good. All sixteen subjects reported satisfaction on follow-up evaluation. Conclusions: Nonanatomic free cartilage grafting with second intention healing allows for facile, single-step repair of nasal ala defects with high patient satisfaction and aesthetically pleasing results. This provides an attractive alternative to other flap techniques, skin grafting, and healing via secondary intention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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