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Primary Definitive Nasal Correction in Patients Presenting for Late Unilateral Cleft Lip Repair.

Ahuja, Rajeev B. M.S., M.Ch., D.N.B., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.S.

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Abstract

: Almost 25 percent of unilateral cleft lip and palate patients present with their deformity in their teens or later years in the developing world. Because more than 80 percent of the world population lives in the developing world, the established protocol for repair of these deformities is not applicable to these patients. Despite the magnitude, there are no significant reports in the literature that deal with this problem. Several issues need to be addressed, but the author limits himself here to the correction of the nasal deformity. The patients at this age are very much concerned with the aesthetic outcome. Procedures described hitherto for primary nasal correction in infants are not successful in restoring nasal shape and symmetry at this late age of presentation. Our experience with radical correction of secondary nasal deformity in unilateral cleft lip patients presenting late prompted us to extend the concept by undertaking a definitive primary correction of the nasal deformity in cleft patients presenting late. Twenty-two patients with unilateral cleft lip deformity (nine male patients and 13 female patients) with ages ranging from 13 to 22 years, presenting between August of 1997 and December of 2000, are included in this study. Of these, 11 patients had a cleft of the lip alone, eight also had a cleft of the alveolus, and three had a cleft of the palate continuous with the cleft lip. All patients showed some maxillary hypoplasia. An external rhinoplasty with lip repair was carried out in all patients. The corrective procedures on the nose included columellar lengthening; augmentation along the pyriform margin, nasal floor, and alveolus using bone grafts; submucous resection of the nasal septum; repositioning of lower lateral cartilages; and augmentation of nasal dorsum by bone graft. Clinical follow-up ranged from 4 to 24 months, and the median follow-up period was 13 months. Results have been very good, and much better than results seen earlier with other primary rhinoplasty techniques. While repairing unilateral cleft lip in adolescents, the author thinks it would be most appropriate to address the entire gamut of the deformity in a single stage, provide complete vector reorientation, and augment the hypoplastic elements by autologous tissue. It is not just the fear of poor follow-up, but that merely correcting the lip deformity in these patients without attempting definitive rhinoplasty, in the author's opinion, would be insufficient surgical intervention.

(C)2002American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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