Depletion of the nasal reserve after a mole excision

Silvia Scevola, Giovanni Nicoletti, Claudio Albizzati, Angela Faga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors present an original case report to warn of a possible severe functional complication that might follow a simple facial skin procedure. A 55-year-old woman underwent excision of a mole along the alar-facial groove, which seemingly healed without immediate complications. Ultimately the patient reported an ipsilateral nasal obstruction 2 months postoperatively. Intranasal inspection and a computed tomography scan revealed a severe septum deviation that had been previously clinically unapparent. The authors argue that the skin-scarring process progressively counterbalanced the action of the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle fascicle to the nostril. Such an action had been compensating for a subtotally compromised nasal air flow from a preexisting severe septal deviation. In this context, skin scarring was enough to impair a minimal residual nasal respiratory reserve. The authors therefore advise performing an internal nasal inspection at all times prior to any sort of skin surgery around the alar-facial groove. This will allow detection of any subclinical functionally compensated preexisting septal deviation or any other intranasal obstruction that could manifest at a later stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-330
Number of pages4
JournalFacial Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • nasal air flow
  • nasal functional reserve
  • septal deviation
  • skin moles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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