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The Wave Flap: A Single-Stage, Modified Nasal Sidewall Rotation Flap for the Repair of Defects Involving the Mid-Alar Groove

Bryan, Zachary T. MD; Garrett, Algin B. MD, MSHA; Lavigne, Kerry MD; Trace, Anthony MD, PhD; Maher, Ian A. MD

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000628
Original Article

BACKGROUND Reconstruction of defects straddling the alar groove presents the dual challenges of resurfacing the nasal sidewall and alar subunits while simultaneously recreating the alar groove. The wave flap (WF) is a modified, medially based, nasal sidewall rotation flap that uses locally recruited tissue from the nasal sidewall to facilitate color and texture match and permit camouflage of scars.

OBJECTIVE To detail a surgical repair for defects in the horizontally oriented middle third of the alar groove.

MATERIALS AND METHODS This retrospective case series describes a technique for repair of defects involving the alar groove. Using postoperative photographs, outcomes were assessed by blinded noninvestigator dermatologist raters using the Observer Scar Assessment Scale.

RESULTS Between February 2012 and June 2013, 10 patients were reconstructed using a WF design. Subjective assessment of scar vascularity, pigment, pliability, relief, and thickness by 3 independent reviewers yielded an overall cosmesis score of 11.1 (out of 50). No complications were noted.

CONCLUSION The WF provides an excellent reconstructive option for Mohs defects of the middle third of the alar groove by recruiting local tissue and permitting maximum scar camouflage. A well-designed and executed WF provides cosmetically exceptional results for defects of the alar groove.

*Department of Dermatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri;

Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia;

Department of Radiology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia;

§Department of Dermatology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Zachary T. Bryan MD, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, 1755 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2016 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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