Nasal reconstruction in children: a review of 29 patients
Acquired large nasal defects are much more common in adulthood than in childhood because of the frequency of skin tumors after a certain age. However, from their experience in treating a number of children with sequelae of noma and burns, the authors have collected a series of 17 total and 12 partial nasal reconstructions in children aged 1 to 15 years. After reviewing the various methods used for recreating the lining, the support, and the skin cover in the whole series, three cases are reported in detail. A 1-year-old patient received a tempororetroauricular flap after total amputation of the nose and was observed for 17 years. Another patient, who was burned as a baby, underwent reconstruction at age 10 with a deltopectoral flap and was observed for 7 years. The third patient underwent total nose reconstruction at age 12 with an Indian forehead flap. From their experience, the authors conclude that, for psychosocial reasons, nasal reconstruction should be started early, despite possible reoperation at a later age. The best results are certainly obtained at the end of growth or at least after the age of 12. Adjacent bone or soft tissue defects further enhance the difficult challenge of restoring a satisfactory aesthetic appearance in these children.