Nasal Valve Insufficiency in Dermatologic Surgery

Naiara S. Barbosa, Christian L. Baum, Christopher J. Arpey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Few publications have addressed nasal valve (NV) insufficiency as a complication of Mohs micrographic surgery. OBJECTIVE: To comprehensively review the literature and further characterize the causes, prevalence, evaluation, and management of NV insufficiency as it relates to cutaneous oncology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A PubMed search was completed to identify articles related to the NV in the context of Mohs micrographic surgery, cutaneous oncology, and reconstruction. RESULTS: Nasal valve insufficiency may occur during tumor removal and/or reconstruction. Defect size larger than 1 cm; location on the ala, sidewall, or alar crease; lack of structural support; and poorly planned flaps are the main risk factors for NV insufficiency. Several surgical techniques have been described to avoid and correct this complication. CONCLUSION: Nasal valve insufficiency may be an underrecognized and underreported complication of Mohs micrographic surgery. Nasal valve insufficiency may be identified with relatively simple tests. Knowledge of NV anatomy and preoperative function assessment is essential. Recognition of this potential complication and awareness of its prevention and management may decrease morbidity in patients undergoing cutaneous surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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