The undesirable influence of reconstructive procedures on the symmetry of the nasolabial folds.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although considerable attention has been directed toward the nasolabial fold in the esthetic surgery literature, there are infrequent discussions of the fold's importance in reconstructive surgery of the face. Because the use of common reconstructive techniques for wounds of the central face often introduces undesirable asymmetry to the nasolabial folds, reconstructive surgeons should be more aware of the esthetic consequences of manipulating the nasolabial folds. METHODS: The influence of selected reconstructive procedures of the central face on the form and symmetry of the nasolabial folds is analyzed through the examination of multiple clinical examples of reconstructive successes and failures in this area. RESULTS: Many commonly performed reconstructive procedures of the face introduce changes in the nasolabial fold's depth, slope, and location. The inherent asymmetries that such procedures introduce frequently detract from their overall esthetic results. CONCLUSIONS: The nasolabial fold is a visually distinct unit of the face that deserves more attention from reconstructive surgeons. When possible, surgical alterations of the fold should be minimized to preserve facial symmetry.
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