The onlay cartilage grafting technique is described for treatment of unilateral or bilateral cleft lip nasal deformities. The alar cartilage is exposed through rim and intercartilagenous incisions. The cephalic half of the alar cartilage is excised, similar to the technique of traditional tip rhinoplasty. The harvested cartilage is applied to the intact caudal cartilage in layered fashion and secured with absorbable sutures. If necessary, successive layers may be added. These grafts provide a sturdy, yet delicate framework for a more normal appearing alar rim.
We have performed this procedure on 16 patients, ages 10 to 41. Follow-up intervals range from 13 to 40 months, with a mean of 19 months. Results have been rated good-to-excellent by patients and surgeons. There has been no recurrence of the deformity. The only complication has been one nasal vestibule synechia.
(C)1985American Society of Plastic Surgeons