Total Nose and Upper Lip Replantation: A Case Report and Literature Review

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Abstract

Summary:

The nose plays a critical role in olfaction, air filtration and humidification, and facial aesthetics. Most nasal amputations result from animal bites, human bites, and lacerations from glass. Successful replantation yields the best aesthetic and functional outcomes and is preferred compared with multistage nasal reconstruction. However, nasal replantation is technically challenging; establishing venous outflow can be particularly difficult. A 17-year-old male sustained a complete nose and upper lip amputation in a motor vehicle accident. The midface segment was emergently replanted. Two arteries (left dorsal nasal artery, left superior labial artery) and 1 vein (branch of the left supratrochlear artery) were anastomosed using microsurgical technique. A vein graft, systemic anticoagulation, and postoperative leeching were important adjuncts. Total operative time was 10 hours. Cold ischemia time was 2 hours and warm ischemia time was 1 hour. Two arteries were anastomosed to minimize the risk of ischemia of the nose and/or upper lip. Complete survival of the replanted segment was achieved. Eighteen months postoperatively, the patient has bilateral nasal patency, intact septal support, and an excellent aesthetic result. All efforts should be made to establish a venous anastomosis during nasal replantation to maximize functional and aesthetic outcomes. Partial necrosis is common following artery-only replantation, leading to tissue loss and contracture.

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