Cheek Donor Site for Full-Thickness Skin Graft Repair of the Nasal Ala: Outcomes of a Retrospective Cohort Study

Eric Y. Du, Rylee A. Moody, Eric S. Armbrecht, Collin L. Chen, Ian A. Maher, Michael L. Bernstein, Ramona Behshad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUNDFull-thickness skin grafts (FTSGs) are useful repairs for reconstructing nasal alar defects. Traditional donor sites include the preauricular, postauricular, and supraclavicular skin.OBJECTIVETo evaluate esthetic outcomes and complications of nasal alar defects repaired with FTSGs from the medial cheek.MATERIALS AND METHODSA retrospective chart review of Mohs surgery patients who had FTSG repair of the nasal ala between January 2015 and August 2020 was performed. Demographic, surgery, and follow-up visit data were reviewed. Cosmesis was rated by a facial plastic surgeon, a Mohs surgeon, and a plastic surgeon using baseline, defect, and follow-up visit photographs.RESULTSSixty-nine patients with FTSG repairs of nasal alar defects were identified. 51 of 69 patients (73.9%) had the cheek donor site, and 18 of 69 patients (26.1%) had a noncheek donor site. The mean (SD) rater visual analog score for both cohorts was good with no significant difference (cheek: 65.9 [13.8]; noncheek: 66.1 [15.3]; p =.96). A notable difference in the complication rate by donor site was observed (cheek: 6.9%, noncheek: 16.7%; p =.13), although it did not reach significance.CONCLUSIONThe cheek is a reliable FTSG donor site for nasal alar defects after Mohs micrographic surgery, with a trend toward fewer complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Journal Article


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