Abstract

It is universally acknowledged that correction of a cleft lip nasal deformity continues to be a difficult problem. In developing countries, it is common for patients with cleft lip deformities to present in their early or late teens for correction of severe secondary lip and nasal deformities retained after the initial repairs were carried out in infancy or early childhood. Such patients have never had the benefit of primary nasal correction, orthodontic management, or alveolar bone grafting at an appropriate age. Along with a severe nasal deformity, they present with alveolar arch malalignments and anterior fistulae. In the study presented here, a strategy involving a complete single-stage correction of the nasal and secondary lip deformity was used. In this study, 26 patients (nine male and 17 female) ranging in age from 13 to 24 years presented for the first time between June of 1996 and December of 1999 with unilateral cleft lip nasal deformity. Eight patients had an anterior fistula (diameter, 2 to 4 mm) and 12 patients had a secondary lip deformity. An external rhinoplasty approach was used for all patients. The corrective procedures carried out in a single stage in these patients included lip revision; columellar lengthening; repair of anterior fistula; augmentation along the pyriform margin, nasal floor, and alveolus by bone grafts; submucous resection of the nasal septum; repositioning of lower lateral cartilages; fixation of the alar cartilage complex to the septum and the upper lateral cartilages; augmentation of nasal dorsum by bone graft; and alar base wedge resections. Medial and lateral nasal osteotomies were performed only if absolutely indicated. The median follow-up period was 11 months, although it ranged from 5 to 25 months. Overall results have been extremely pleasing, satisfactory, and stable. In this age group (13 years of age or older), it is not fruitful to use a technique for nasal correction that corrects only one facet of the deformity, because no result of nasal correction can be satisfactory until septal deviations and maxillary deficiencies are addressed along with any alar repositioning. The results of complete remodeling of the nasal pyramid are also stable in these patients because the patients' growth was nearly complete, and all the deformities could be corrected at the same time, leaving no active deforming vector. These results would indicate that aesthetically good results are achievable even if no primary nasal correction or orthodontic management had been previously attempted.

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