Background: The optimal management of cleft lip-cleft palate patients presents a formidable challenge to the cleft surgeon. This is especially so in the case of bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate, and the long-term management in a multidisciplinary setting is essential. This study presents the results of the specific management protocol at the Australian Craniofacial Unit for patients with bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate who have completed their protocol treatment under the care of a single surgeon (D.J.D.) during the period 1974 to 2006.
Methods: A retrospective study of the outcomes in relation to facial growth, speech, hearing, and occlusion is presented of patients with bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate.
Results: Nineteen cases were identified from the departmental database, 12 male patients and seven female patients. Six patients with severe craniofacial deformities who had bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate were excluded. Cephalometric analysis at skeletal maturity identified that a majority of cases had midface hypoplasia requiring midface advancement in 14 cases. Speech and hearing outcomes were worse when compared with other clefting types.
Conclusion: Overall, these results demonstrate that facial growth is more affected in bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate patients than in either unilateral cleft lip-cleft palate or isolated cleft palate patients.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.