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Giant Rhinophyma: A Rare Case of Total Nasal Obstruction and Restitutio Ad Integrum


Rhinophyma is considered the end stage in the development of rosacea, accompanied by hypertrophy of the sebaceous glands, which causes an enlargement of the nose. It is an uncommon condition that often results in both functional and cosmetic impairment. A large variety of surgical and nonsurgical treatments have been published to treat it. Closure is usually obtained by wound granulating in by secondary intention, skin grafting or local flaps. Rarely these lesions can attain a giant size and pose a challenge in surgical treatment. We present a 63-year-old male with the necessity for tracheostomy at the ICU due to total nasal obstruction and recurrent episodes of pneumonia caused by a huge giant rhinophyma, which had undergone extreme growth in the last five years. The tumor was removed under general anesthesia by decortication with an electrosurgical wire loop to recreate the aesthetic units of the nose preserving the alar cartilage as well as the pilosebaceous appendages. The wounds healed in by secondary intention with a very pleasant cosmetic and improved functional result. The relevant literature is discussed.

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Correspondence to Andreas Wolter.

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Wolter, A., Scholz, T. & Liebau, J. Giant Rhinophyma: A Rare Case of Total Nasal Obstruction and Restitutio Ad Integrum. Aesth Plast Surg 41, 905–909 (2017).

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  • Rhinophyma
  • Giant rhinophyma
  • Rosacea
  • Secondary-intention healing
  • Tracheostomy
  • Wire loop electrode