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Anthropometric Effect of Mucoperiosteal Nostril Floor Reconstruction in Complete Cleft Lip

Beidas, Omar E. MD; Thompson, David M. PhD, PT; Amm, Christian A. El MD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2016 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 19–26
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002169
Original Articles

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to investigate whether growth impairment in children with cleft lip is caused by reconstructing the nostril floor using lateral nasal and premaxillary mucoperiosteal flaps. The effects on growth and symmetry of tip rhinoplasty at the time of initial repair, as well as cleft sidedness are similarly investigated.

Methods: An Institutional Review Board approved, retrospective, single-center study at an academic children's hospital from July 2005 to 2010 was designed. Seventy-four patients with unilateral cleft lip ± palate were followed postsurgical repair of the cleft lip deformity. Serial digital photographs from clinical encounters were analyzed. Anthropometric measurements of 10 soft tissue landmarks were extracted from anteroposterior and submental vertex views at serial visits; growth velocities, defined as c = Δd/Δt, were generated using linear mixed models on selected measurements to study time-related changes on growth. The effects on growth and symmetry of primary tip rhinoplasty on perinasal landmarks and nostril floor reconstruction with medial and lateral nasal mucoperiosteal flaps on perioral and perinasal landmarks were analyzed. Proxies for midfacial height (en-al) and maxillary height (al-ch) were used to evaluate the effect of mucoperiosteal dissection, whereas nostril width, height, and angle were used as proxies to evaluate the effects of tip rhinoplasty.

Results: Seventy-four patients met the inclusion criteria. Midface height (En-Al) growth velocity was 0.014 mm/month and maxillary height (Al-Ch) was relatively stable at −0.0059 mm/month with no difference between the subgroups. Nostril height growth was −0.0046 mm/month, nostril width was 0.03 mm/mo, and nostril angle −0.09 °/mo showed no difference between patient with or without primary tip rhinoplasty. Patients with complete cleft showed more asymmetry than those with incomplete clefts in lip and maxillary landmarks at T0 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Mucoperiosteal reconstruction of the nostril floor at the time of lip repair does not affect anthropometric growth velocities over a 5-year follow-up. Within the limitations of the selected landmarks, primary tip rhinoplasty did not significantly improve symmetry at 5 years, but also did not affect the growth of the nose. Patients with complete clefts display more postoperative asymmetry than those with incomplete clefts.

*Department of Surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Christian A. El Amm, MD, Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 825 NE 10th St., Suite 1G, Oklahoma City, OK 73104; E-mail:

Received 6 January, 2015

Accepted 14 August, 2015

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2016 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.