Depletion of the Nasal Reserve after a Mole Excision
24 July 2013 (online)
The authors present an original case report to warn of a possible severe functional complication that might follow a simple facial skin procedure. A 55-year-old woman underwent excision of a mole along the alar-facial groove, which seemingly healed without immediate complications. Ultimately the patient reported an ipsilateral nasal obstruction 2 months postoperatively. Intranasal inspection and a computed tomography scan revealed a severe septum deviation that had been previously clinically unapparent. The authors argue that the skin-scarring process progressively counterbalanced the action of the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle fascicle to the nostril. Such an action had been compensating for a subtotally compromised nasal air flow from a preexisting severe septal deviation. In this context, skin scarring was enough to impair a minimal residual nasal respiratory reserve. The authors therefore advise performing an internal nasal inspection at all times prior to any sort of skin surgery around the alar-facial groove. This will allow detection of any subclinical functionally compensated preexisting septal deviation or any other intranasal obstruction that could manifest at a later stage.