Middle vault asymmetry is a common reason for retained postoperative deviations. Although minor deformities can be camouflaged with cartilage, soft-tissue materials, or injectable fillers, comprehensive observation of upper lateral cartilage and subsequent topographic classification in major anatomical anomalies will help surgeons better plan their procedures to obtain better symmetry.
Photographs of 71 randomly selected primary open rhinoplasty patients were analyzed for anatomical presentation of their upper lateral cartilage. Photographs were taken before and after separation of upper lateral cartilage from the septum. Upper lateral cartilage was classified from class I to class V according to the width of the transverse subunits and curvature of the vertical subunits.
The authors observed 142 upper lateral cartilages of 71 rhinoplasty patients. Upper lateral cartilage was classified as follows: class I, 53 cases; class II, three cases; class III, 40 cases; class IV, 36 cases; and class V, 10 cases.
Upper lateral cartilage asymmetry is a common occurrence in rhinoplasty, and the upper lateral cartilage itself may be the source of nasal deviation. The middle vault requires special attention, and establishment of a classification system could enable surgeons to devise an effective plan for correction and prevention of retained postoperative nasal deviation.