Nasal reconstruction has been analyzed extensively in adults but not in children. The purpose of this article is to review the authors’ experience with the forehead flap for nasal reconstruction in 10 children under the age of 10 during a 10-year period. Outcomes were assessed by an objective grading system for cosmetic surgical results. Subjective criteria were also applied by an assistant surgeon and by the patients’ relatives. Appropriate results were obtained by the following principles: (1) A modified approach that considers three subunits consisting of the dorsum, tip, and ala was used; (2) a forehead flap is the best option for an entire subunit or a full-thickness defect repair; (3) the forehead flap design should be paramedian, oblique, and opposite to the major defect to avoid the hairline and allow better caudal advancement; (4) ear or costal cartilages are good options for structural support (the septum is a nasal growth center that should not be touched); (5) infundibular undermining of vestibular mucosa, turnover flaps, and skin grafts are good options for internal lining; (6) reconstruction is a three-stage procedure (an intermediate operation is added to thin the flap and perform secondary revisions for lining and support); (7) reconstruction should be completed before the child is school aged, to achieve good aesthetic results immediately and avoid psychosocial repercussions; and (8) the reconstructed nose, with skin, lining, and support, will grow with the child (no final surgery should be planned at the age of 18, other than revisions of late complications).
From the Plastic Surgery Unit, Pediatric Surgery Department, Dr. Roberto del Rio Clinical Hospital for Children, and J. J. Aguirre Clinical Hospital, University of Chile, School of Medicine.
Received for publication February 10, 2003; revised September 11, 2003.
Presented at the first monthly meeting of the Chilean Society of Plastic Surgery, in Santiago, Chile, March 20, 2003.
Carlos Giugliano, M.D.
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