A dedication to the art and science of plastic surgery is what helps set Dallas Plastic Surgeon Fadi Constantine apart. Training at some of the most rigorous programs on both sides of the country had given Dr. Constantine a unique perspective that few can match. This scientific paper talks about the delicate and demanding art of soft tissue restoration of the nose.
Of all nine subunits, the soft triangle is perhaps the most challenging to recreate. The complexity of soft triangle reconstruction resides in its proximity to such important structures as the nasal tip, nasal ala, and distal columella. If the soft triangle is not properly reconstructed, problems with nasal function and aesthetics often arise. Anatomical asymmetries in the lower third and abnormal shadowing can occur following insufficient restoration.
A retrospective review was completed of all patients undergoing reconstruction of the nasal soft triangle subunit at the University of Texas South- western Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, from 1995 to 2010. Defects with only external skin intact were classified as type I. Defects involving both skin and underlying soft tissue with intact mucosa were classified as type II. Finally, trans- mural defects with violated mucosa were classified as type III. Surgical outcomes were graded on a scale of I to IV. Grades given were based on the complexity of the existing defect and restoration of the soft triangle, with higher grades given when adjacent structures were not distorted.
Of the 14 cases reviewed, two (14 percent) were type I defects, nine (64 percent) were type II defects, and three (21 percent) were type III defects. Three patients (21 percent) required revision with subsequent resur- facing and two (14 percent) required resurfacing alone. All but one patient (93 percent) had a grade of 2.0 or better, with the one patient opting not to undergo revision.
The authors believe their method of soft triangle reconstruction using the proposed algorithm is an easy approach to soft triangle reconstruction that will yield consistent surgical and clinical success from aesthetic and functional perspectives. Furthermore, the authors were able to achieve excellent aesthetic outcomes without compromise or facing any structural complications. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 131: 1045, 2013.) CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.