Nasal Floor Mucosa: New Donor Site for Mucous Membrane Grafts

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Purpose:Mucous membrane grafts are used for various indications in oculoplastics. The authors report the use of nasal floor mucosa as a new donor site for mucous membrane grafts.Methods:Following adequate anesthesia and vasoconstriction, the nasal floor is visualized with a 30° endoscope. Next, the interior turbinate is medialized, and the nasolacrimal duct is identified and preserved. Anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral incisions are made through the nasal mucosa to the nasal bone. The mucosa is dissected off the nasal bone with a periosteal elevator. Nasal saline irrigation is used postoperatively to aid healing. Histologic analysis of the harvested graft and mucosa from the inferior and middle turbinates were analyzed histologically for the number of mucin-producing cells per high power field and compared.Results:Nasal floor mucosa provides ample tissue for grafting with little donor site morbidity. The surgery is technically easy to learn and perform. There is less risk for blood loss compared with harvesting tissue from the turbinates and less postoperative discomfort compared with buccal mucosal grafts. The grafts have been used in 9 different patients for a variety of ocular indications. Histologically, the nasal floor mucosa contains statistically more mucin-secreting cells than other nasal site, which can be helpful especially in cases of ocular surface disease. In 1 case, biopsy of the grafted tissue at postoperative year 2 showed survival of the respiratory mucin-secreting cells under histologic examination.Conclusions:Nasal floor mucosa should be considered a donor site when a mucous membrane graft is needed. The surgery is safe, easy to perform, and has less morbidity than either a nasal turbinate graft or a buccal mucosal graft.

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