Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step

Date:
March 12, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A new reconstruction technique allows surgeons to recreate a functioning nostril after removing skin cancer from the nose. The technique takes only one step, unlike the current practice that requires a return trip the operating room.

Doctors removed a skin cancer from Carolyn Bohlmann's nostril (left). Bohlmann underwent a new reconstruction procedure that required only one operation. The cosmetic result was judged to be good to very good (right).
Credit: University of Michigan

The skin cancer growing on Carolyn Bohlmann's nose was not a very aggressive variety. But it was deep and located right on her nostril. The tricky part was not so much removing it -- MOHS surgery, the procedure Bohlmann had, is a fairly common outpatient procedure.

The tricky part would be reconstructing her nostril so that it didn't lift up or droop down. It's an important cosmetic issue, but it's also critical for breathing.

Bohlmann opted for a new reconstruction technique her surgeon, Jeffrey Moyer, M.D., was offering at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Moyer removed some cartilage from behind Bohlmann's ear and skin from her shoulder and shaped it to create a new nostril in the place where the tumor had been growing.

"It healed up nicely. You can see a bit of a wrinkle, sort of a raised wrinkle. No one notices it unless I say something about having a surgery," says Bohlmann, 69.

Ten days after having the procedure done, she was back to work at the deli counter, where none of her customers said a word about her nose.

"The nose is a fairly complicated area to reconstruct," says Moyer, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School and the senior author on a paper that outlines this new technique.

The most common method for nostril reconstruction requires taking cartilage from one part of the body and skin from the cheek or forehead to create a special skin flap. The skin flap stays in place for about three weeks so that the blood vessels can grow in the new spot. It looks very conspicuous during that time. Then patients come back to the operating room where surgeons finish the procedure by removing the flap. The tissue and blood vessels have grown over the cartilage, ensuring everything stays in place. Typical results look good and the nostril functions correctly.

But what about patients who can't -- or don't want to -- endure two procedures?

Moyer and his team started with one key question: Do we really need that blood supply from the skin flap? Bohlmann was one of 20 patients to take part in a clinical trial to help answer that.

The new procedure skips the skin flap -- and the need for a second procedure -- but still appears to allow for the cartilage to take hold and keep its place without the nostril either collapsing or pulling up. On a 1-5 scale (1 is best), the average cosmetic result was judged a 2.3 -- considered to be good to very good, with minimal scarring that was not distracting to the patient's appearance. Bohlmann's result was judged as a 2.5.

"This could save people a lot of effort and time. The last thing people want to do is return to the OR," Moyer says. "It allows us to spare people multiple surgeries or a scar that dominates the cheek."

Moyer says that the cheek flap technique has a somewhat better cosmetic result than his new procedure. But since many skin cancer patients are older, they often have other medical conditions that make that second procedure unadvisable.

"The incremental benefit with a cheek flap is not worth it for some patients. The ability to do something less but still get the same quality of results is important," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David A. Zopf, Wade Iams, Jennifer C. Kim, Shan R. Baker, Jeffrey S. Moyer. Full-Thickness Skin Graft Overlying a Separately Harvested Auricular Cartilage Graft for Nasal Alar ReconstructionCartilage Graft for Nasal Alar Reconstruction. Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1001/jamafacial.2013.25

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121845.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, March 12). Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121845.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121845.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins