To evaluate surgical results, speech, hearing, and craniofacial morphology after primary cleft repair performed from 1973 to 1979.
During the years 1972 to 1985, all primary cleft surgeries were performed by 1 plastic surgeon, using Tennison lip closure combined with a periosteoplasty on the clefted alveolus at age 3 months. By mobilizing mucoperiosteal flaps, bony bridges were induced in the alveolar process in approximately 60% of the cases. All patients had the soft palate closed at age 24 months by a pushback technique. All children with complete unilateral clefts without soft tissue bands (unilateral cleft lip and palate) primary operated on 1973 to 1979 were included in the material, except 3 patients with a syndrome and 2 patients of foreign ethnicity. The material involved 30 consecutive patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate (20 boys and 10 girls; 16 left-sided and 14 right-sided clefts) who were operated on. Standardized records including photos, radiographs, lateral cephalograms, plaster model, and recording of speech and hearing were collected according to the treatment protocol at age 6, 15, and approximately 25 years.
Evaluation included craniofacial descriptive cephalometric analysis, dentoalveolar morphology, dentofacial aesthetics, speech concerning articulation and nasality, and hearing status. Number of surgical interventions after primary surgery was recorded. Secondary revisions and candidates for orthognathic surgery are reported. Ten consecutive patients (case nos. 11-20) are demonstrated as clinical reports.
This longitudinal study shows how a multidisciplinary evaluation adequate for intercenter comparison can be performed when standardized procedures, registrations, and documentations are available.