Postoperative Outcomes of Local Skin Flaps Used in Oncologic Reconstructive Surgery of the Nasal Ala: A Systematic Review

Mathew N. Nicholas, Annie Liu, Jocelyn Jia, Airiss R. Chan, Daniel B. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Despite numerous options for nasal ala reconstruction, advantages and disadvantages of each method are unclear. OBJECTIVE: To summarize reported outcomes of local flaps without the use of grafts for nasal ala oncologic reconstructive surgery. METHODS: A nasal ala-specific protocol was adapted from a previous head- and neck-specific PROSPERO submission (CRD42017071596). The search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL on December 23, 2017 and updated on May 10, 2019. Two reviewers screened 9,313 results from head and neck literature. Study bias was evaluated with the ROBINS-I tool. RESULTS: Subunit-based categorization of included studies identified 12 nasal ala-specific publications. Complications (flap necrosis, hematoma, wound infections, trapdoor deformities, and dehiscence), functional (nasal valve or respiratory dysfunction), and cosmetic (alar rim distortion/asymmetry/notching, secondary/revisionary procedures, and patient satisfaction) outcomes were extracted. CONCLUSION: Generally favorable outcomes are seen in all flaps. Careful consideration of donor sites for interpolation flaps is needed for optimal cosmetic outcomes. Transposition flaps, including laterally based bilobed and trilobed flaps, created good outcomes, although melolabial transposition flaps may produce poorer outcomes compared with melolabial island pedicle advancement flaps. Caution is needed for rotation flaps to prevent nasal valve/respiratory dysfunction due to alar crease contracture or ridge elevation. Further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1205-1213
Number of pages9
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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