I will be having Mohs surgery next week, for two basal cell areas on the right side of my nose. I have fair skin that tends to be reddish on my face (Irish complexion, rosacea) and am concerned that a skin graft from somewhere else won't match. The surgeon said that skin from the inner ear can match the skin on the nose. What have you found to be the case?
How Well Do Skin Grafts Match From Inner Ear to Nose?
Doctor Answers 7
Skin graft for nose repair
Skin grafts can be very good at matching nose skin if chosen from the correct location. The inner ear or "concha" can be useful for nose tips since it may have similar pore appearance due to glands called sebaceous glands on the nose and ear. Other areas behind and in front of the ear can also be used but the skin color and texture and thickness match are critical. If you are with a fellowship trained Mohs surgeon, they will know how to best repair your nose after the cancer is removed.
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Skin grafting for nose after Mohs surgery
Many different criteria are taken into consideration by the Mohs surgeon in determining the best donor site for a skin graft. These include: color, texture, pore size, thickness, and presence of lesions or hair. The skin in the inner ear (known as the conchal bowl) is a very good match to the skin of the nostril. They have similar color, texture, and pore size which make for an excellent match.
Skin grafts on the nose following Mohs surgery
Skin grafts are a reasonable alternative for reconstruction of a surgical defect that remains after removing a skin cancer. Although the match in color is never perfect, most often , if the graft is harvested from a donor area that appears to closely match the recipient area's surrounding tone and color, the results will be excellent. You should rely on your surgeon to choose the best donor site.
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Skin grafts work well for many nasal Mohs defects.
Full-thickness skin grafts can be a great option for reconstruction of nasal Mohs defects. They often require dermabrasion ("sanding" of the skin graft and surrounding skin) to help them blend in optimally.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Sking graft for nostril after Mohs surgery
Conchal grafts are reasonable matches for the nose
Grafts from the concha (the bowl part of your ear) can match the sebaceous nature of a nose well. If you have two cancers on the side of your nose, you may want to talk to your Mohs surgeon before deciding on a graft. Make sure your Mohs surgeon is fellowship trained. A flap may be a better alternative to a graft and this uses adjacent skin which matches the nose better.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.