The achievement of consistently superior results in rhinoplasty is rendered difficult in part by a number of complex interplays between the anatomical structures of the nose and the techniques used for their alteration, such as tip sutures. The effects of sutures depend largely on the magnitude of suture tightening, the intrinsic forces on the cartilages, cartilage thickness, and the degree of soft-tissue undermining. The tip complex is perhaps the most intricate of the nasal structures, exhibiting subtle but evident responses to manipulations of the lower lateral cartilages. The three-dimensional effects of nine suture techniques that are frequently used in nasal tip surgical procedures are discussed and illustrated. (1) The medial crura suture approximates the medial crura and strengthens the support of the tip. The suture also has effects that are less conspicuous immediately. There is slight narrowing of the columella, caudal protrusion of the lobule, and minimal caudal rotation of the lateral crura. (2) The middle crura suture approximates the most anterior portion of the medial crura. There is greater strengthening of the tip and some approximation of the domes with this suture. (3) The interdomal suture approximates the domes and can equalize asymmetric domes. However, the entire tip may shift to the short side if there is a significant difference in the heights of the domes because of short lateral and medial crura. (4) Transdomal sutures narrow the domal arch while pulling the lateral crura medially. The net results are increased tip projection, alar rim concavity, and the potential need for an alar rim graft. In addition, depending on suture position, cephalic or caudal rotation of the lateral crura may be observed. (5) The lateral crura suture increases the concavity of the lateral crura, reduces the interdomal distance, and may retract the alar rims. Perhaps the most significant inadvertent results of this suture are caudal rotation of the tip and elongation of the nose. This is important because patients who undergo rhinoplasty would often benefit from cephalic, rather than caudal, rotation of the tip. (6) The medial crura-septal suture not only increases tip projection but also rotates the tip cephalically and retracts the columella. (7) The tip rotation suture shifts the tip cephalad while retracting the columella. (8) The medial crura footplate suture approximates the footplates, narrows the columella base, and improves undesirable nostril shape. (9) The lateral crura convexity control suture alters the degree of convexity of the lateral crura. The nuances of these sutures and their multiplanar effects on the nasal tip are discussed.
Lyndhurst, Ohio; and Walnut Creek, Calif.
From the Zeeba Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Received for publication August 23, 2002;
revised December 10, 2002.
Bahman Guyuron, M.D.
29017 Cedar Road
Lyndhurst, Ohio 44124