Nasal Reconstruction

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Nasal reconstructive surgery is often performed after a cancerous tumor has been removed from the nose. A tumor's removal can result in a hole being present in the nose. Nasal reconstruction is a common surgical procedure that is performed on the face. 

Rhinoplasty Versus Nasal Reconstruction

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed to improve the function and appearance of the nose. Blocked passageways or a bumpy nasal bridge could prompt someone to seek this type of surgery. Rhinoplasty is performed on the interior of the nose. The bones and cartilage are manipulated. Often, rhinoplasty involves reshaping the nose or lengthening or shortening the nasal bridge.

Because the surgical incisions are performed on the inside of the nasal cavity, scarring may not be as prominent as what a nasal reconstructive procedure is responsible for. With a reconstructive procedure, facial tissue is manipulated. Surrounding tissue or a skin graft is used to cover holes that are visible on the outside of the nose. The complexity of the procedure could result in more visible scarring and a longer healing time than rhinoplasty.

The Process

It is common for a cancer patient to undergo nasal reconstruction. A patient's tumor will be removed in its entirety and a surgeon may ensure that a patient is in remission, prior to approving the patient for a reconstructive process. The size and location of the hole will determine how it is covered. A hole will need to be filled in and the skin that covers the hole will need to be pulled tightly. The surgical procedure will be performed while a patient is under local anesthesia.

The nasal tissue that surrounds a hole can be pulled over a hole. If a hole is large and goes all the way through the nose, a flap surgical technique may be used. Skin that is on the forehead or that surrounds a hole may be cut and pulled over the hole. A reconstructive process that will involve rebuilding most of a nose may require the use of skin grafts. A surgeon will determine which part of the body to remove the skin from.

The surgeon will cut a piece of skin that is larger than the hole. This will ensure that the skin adequately covers the hole. Once the skin has been manipulated and attached to a patient's nose, a patient will need time to heal. They may be required to use medicinal products that will kill bacteria and to keep their nose covered with a sterile gauze product.

Contact a local plastic surgeon to learn more about reconstructive surgery