Forehead Flap Nasal Reconstruction in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL
Although overwhelming and discouraging, the removal of nasal skin cancer can save your life. This may, unfortunately, cause some abnormalities in the appearance of your nose. For the residents of Tampa, St. Petersburg,and other communities in Florida, Dr. Dean G. Davis, dual-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and otolaryngologist, uses his expertise to help restore your nose to a regular appearance using a skin flap from the forehead.
What is Forehead “Flap” Nasal Reconstruction?
Forehead flap nasal reconstruction is a procedure for individuals who have lost substantial amounts of their nose tissue due to cancer. Initially, the operation may seem somewhat unusual to most patients; however, it has been a standard procedure in the world of cosmetic surgery for many decades. It involves taking skin from the forehead to reconstruct the destroyed sections of the nose. The cartilage is typically taken from the back of the patient’s ear. The entire reconstructive surgery is completed in two to three operations, typically referred to as “stages.”
Forehead Flap Reconstructive Stages Explained
In almost all cases, the first stage of the procedure is to remove a strip of skin from the patient’s forehead, which is then used on the nose. Cartilage taken from the back of the patient’s ear is generally used to reconstruct the tip of the nose, where natural cartridge would have been before the damage took place. Taking cartilage from behind the ear does not cause any major changes to the ear’s shape, as one may fear. The strip of forehead skin that is relocated to the nose must remain attached for approximately three weeks, as this is the amount of time required for appropriate blood supply to reach the new skin area on a constant basis. As one might suspect, this may make social and public appearances difficult for individuals during those weeks.
The operation’s second stage involves putting everything back together. The connection between the forehead and the nose is divided. The skin is contoured to give it the appearance of natural nose skin, and both the forehead and the nose are carefully stitched back together.
This third stage is not always required. However, it is used most frequently in cases where a substantial amount of the nose has been lost to cancer, and further reconstruction is required to achieve refined, nasal contouring. During your consultation, Dr. Davis will discuss whether or not you need the third stage of the operation.
Is Forehead Flap Reconstructive Surgery for You?
After nasal skin cancer excision, certain defects may only be optimally repaired by using a technique called a forehead flap. Although some individuals may have concerns regarding having to undergo multiple nose reconstruction procedures, this method has an extraordinarily high success rate, and the patients of Dr. Davis consistently express satisfaction with the results.
At the time of your consultation, Dr. Davis will carefully examine you, and each option will be explained. If forehead flap nasal reconstruction is the procedure for which Dr. Davis feels you would most benefit, he will go into detail on each stage of the operation, as well as the recovery process. In addition, he will answer all your questions and concerns about why this is the best option for you.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
Forehead flap procedures are typically completed on an outpatient basis. However, certain individuals are instructed to remain in the hospital overnight following the initial stage. Although the patient’s face may look somewhat distorted for the first three weeks after the procedure, it does not impede normal activity levels, which patients can return to rather quickly following the surgery. With most individuals, the primary limitation is difficulty wearing eyeglasses. As one would suspect, most patients also prefer to avoid major social events for the first three weeks following the procedure. Patients must also refrain from exercise or straining during the three to four-week healing process between surgeries.
Second stage recovery is much faster, as patients can return to light activities after only a few days and can generally work again within approximately a week.
Forehead flaps can create an excellent cosmetic result when used to repair certain nasal wounds that result from the excision of skin cancer. If you live in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or other communities in Florida, and are interested in learning more about forehead flap nasal reconstruction, please contact us today.