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Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step
Date:3/12/2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. The skin cancer growing on Carolyn Bohlmann's nose was not a very aggressive variety. But it was deep and located right on her nostril. The tricky part was not so much removing it MOHS surgery, the procedure Bohlmann had, is a fairly common outpatient procedure.

The tricky part would be reconstructing her nostril so that it didn't lift up or droop down. It's an important cosmetic issue, but it's also critical for breathing.

Bohlmann opted for a new reconstruction technique her surgeon, Jeffrey Moyer, M.D., was offering at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Moyer removed some cartilage from behind Bohlmann's ear and skin from her shoulder and shaped it to create a new nostril in the place where the tumor had been growing.

"It healed up nicely. You can see a bit of a wrinkle, sort of a raised wrinkle. No one notices it unless I say something about having a surgery," says Bohlmann, 69.

Ten days after having the procedure done, she was back to work at the deli counter, where none of her customers said a word about her nose.

"The nose is a fairly complicated area to reconstruct," says Moyer, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School and the senior author on a paper that outlines this new technique.

The most common method for nostril reconstruction requires taking cartilage from one part of the body and skin from the cheek or forehead to create a special skin flap. The skin flap stays in place for about three weeks so that the blood vessels can grow in the new spot. It looks very conspicuous during that time. Then patients come back to the operating room where surgeons finish the procedure by removing the flap. The tissue and blood vessels have grown over the cartilage, ensuring everything stays in place. Typical results look good and the nostril functions correctly.

But what about patients who can't or don't want to endure two pr
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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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