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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 36, n° 6
pages 965-969 (juin 1997)
Doi : 10.1016/S0190-9622(97)80282-4

The nasofacial interpolated flap in reconstruction of the nasal ala

R.J. Barlow, MD, MRCP a, , N.A. Swanson, MD b
a Department of Dermatology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, USA 
b Department Otolaryngology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, USA 

*Reprint requests: R.J. Barlow, MD, Dermatological Surgery and Laser Unit, St John's Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth Palace Rd., London SEI 7EH, England.

Skin cancer frequently involves the nasal alae, the surgical reconstruction of which may be challenging if their margins, contours, and surface texture are to be preserved.


Our purpose was to describe our experience with a nasofacial interpolated flap in which a temporary bridging pedicle is used to transpose skin from the nasofacial and melolabial sulci to an alar defect.


The nasofacial interpolated flap was used in eight patients to reconstruct partial-thickness alar wounds after excision of a basal cell carcinoma.


The functional and cosmetic outcome was excellent in five patients and is likely to be good in two others who had postoperative fullness of the flap inset. A poor result was seen in one patient, a heavy smoker, who healed with an atrophic scar at the margin of the primary defect.


In alar wounds for which a full-thickness skin graft would provide inadequate bulk, the nasofacial interpolated flap transposes skin of excellent color and textural match without blunting the nasofacial sulcus or the alar groove.

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