[Skip to Navigation]
December 1990

Nasal Valve Malfunction Resulting From Resection of Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology and Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School and the Veterans Administration Lakeside Medical Center (Dr Robinson), and the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago (Dr Burget), Chicago, Ill.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(12):1419-1424. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870120065011

• Following cancer resection of the nasal unit, nasal valve malfunction is manifested by the symptoms of nasal stuffiness or difficulty getting air into the nostril. These symptoms occur in cases in which the resection is in the alar crease at the junction with the lateral sidewall of the nose. Wound scar contracture elevates the alar margin and causes the alar and lateral cartilages to move inward forming a visible and palpable shelf on the lateral wall of the nasal vestibule. This displacement of the alar and lateral cartilages and the rigid scar formed between these cartilages render the nasal valve immobile. Since it is easier to prevent nasal valve malfunction than to repair it later, wounds that bridge the alar crease or are located in either the alae or lateral sidewall and come within 1 mm of the alar crease with a total diameter of 1.0 cm should be repaired to prevent nasal valve malfunction. In the process of repairing deep defects, the overlapping region of the lateral crus of the alar cartilage and the lateral cartilage may be stabilized by a conchal cartilage graft. This cartilage graft may be used in combination with reconstruction of the nasal skin with a forehead flap and repair of the nasal lining. In the event that the nasal lining is intact, the cartilage graft may be used with a full-thickness skin graft.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116:1419-1424)

Add or change institution