Objective To determine the factors contributing to failure of interpolation flaps in nasal reconstruction.
Design Retrospective medical chart review.
Setting Tertiary care academic center.
Patients A total of 107 patients with nasal defects needing reconstruction, performed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.
Intervention Patients underwent nasal reconstruction with 2-stage paramedian forehead or nasolabial flaps (PMFF and NLF, respectively) from 2002 to 2011. Defect thickness, location, flap type, use of cartilage grafts, and comorbidities, including diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular or coronary artery disease, and smoking habits, were recorded.
Main Outcome Measures Full success, partial failure, or full failure of the respective flap.
Results Eighty-two of the patients (77%) underwent 2-stage PMFF repair and 25 (23%) underwent 2-stage NLF repair. Fifty-eight defects (54%) were full thickness, in which 46 repairs used PMFF and 12 used NLF for reconstruction. The overall failure rate was 6%. Five PMFF failed (6%); 3 of these were used for full-thickness repairs. There was only 1 NLF failure (4%), which was also performed for the repair of a full-thickness defect. Use of cartilage in the reconstruction did not affect failure rates of the different soft tissue flaps. No single comorbidity was noted to have a statistically significant effect on failure rates, although 83% of failures were observed in smokers.
Conclusions The overall success rate of interpolation flaps in nasal reconstruction was 94.4%. Defect thickness, use of a cartilage graft, type of flap used, and presence of comorbidities did not affect outcome. Although the comparison was not statistically significant (P = .21), flap failures were more commonly observed in smokers.