Subtotal Septal Reconstruction: An Update
10 December 2013 (online)
Subtotal septal reconstruction is a surgical technique used to reconstruct severe septal deviations that are not easily repaired using less invasive methods. Patients with identifiable septal fractures across the caudal or dorsal segments of the L-strut are good candidates. These patients may present with deformities such as the deviated nose or saddle nose. Adequate autologous cartilage is needed to reconstruct the septum. The deviated segments of the nasal septum are removed and then reconstructed by replacing the caudal septum with a straight piece of septal cartilage fixated to the nasal spine. The bilateral extended spreader grafts fixated to the remnant dorsal strut is then fixed to the caudal septal replacement graft to reconstitute the L-strut. In some cases, the dorsal strut may overlap the caudal portion of the L-strut to complete the repair. Care must be taken in setting nasal length, projection, rotation, and supratip break. If these parameters are not set very carefully deformity may ensue. Other potential complications include change in the upper lip smile or a crease forming in the upper lip when the patient smiles. This is a complex technique and must be performed with special care to avoid deformity.