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March 1978

The Anatomy of the Nose: External Support

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1978;104(3):145-150. doi:10.1001/archotol.1978.00790030031007

• The anatomy of the nose is poorly defined, even in standard anatomical texts. Wide disagreement exists regarding the interdigitation of the supporting cartilages, the articulation of these cartilages with the nasal bones, and the contribution of each of these cartilages to the support of the external nose. An understanding of this nasal anatomy is essential to the facial plastic surgeon. The authors describe the fundamental anatomical structure of the adult nose based on gross and microscopical observations and serial sections in 31 cadaveric noses. Tables of cartilage measurements and variation, plus appropriate drawings define the anatomy encountered. Structural variations are common and can be predicted by external appearance in selected cases. To discuss relationships of importance in the surgical alteration of the nose in rhinoplasty, anatomical findings are compared to descriptions in the surgical and anatomical literature. Preservation of essential support and physiological function is stressed.

(Arch Otolaryngol 104:145-150, 1978)

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