This paper reviews a 15-year personal experience based on 400 unilateral cleft nasal deformities that were reconstructed using a method that repositions the alar cartilage by freeing it from the skin and lining and shifts it to a new position. The rotation-advancement lip procedure facilitates the exposure and approach to the nasal reconstruction. The nasal soft tissues are transected from the skeletal base, reshaped, repositioned, and secured by using temporary stent sutures that readapt the alar cartilage, skin, and lining. The nasal floor is closed and the ala base is positioned to match the normal side. Good subsequent growth with maintenance of the reconstruction has been noted in this series. The repair does not directly expose or suture the alar cartilage. Improvement in the cleft nasal deformity is noted in 80 percent of the cases. Twenty percent require additional techniques to achieve the desired symmetry. This method has been used by the author as his primary unilateral cleft nasal repair and has been taught to residents and fellows under his direction with good results. This technique eliminates the severe cleft nasal deformity seen in many secondary cases.
©1986American Society of Plastic Surgeons