Primary rhinoplasty (PR)at the time of cleft lip repair is controversial. We previously performed a systematic review that supported PR during unilateral cleft lip repair. We now aim to determine whether the same idea translates to care of patients with bilateral cleft lip.
A systematic review was conducted adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis statement guidelines. PubMed and Embase databases were searched for studies that met our inclusion criteria: (1) English language, (2) human subjects, (3) rhinoplasty at the time of bilateral cleft lip repair, and (4) evaluation of nasal outcome. Studies were excluded in case of: (1) inclusion of a large proportion of syndromic patients, (2) case reports, (3) editorials, (4) letters, (5) reviews, and (6) exclusive to unilateral clefts. Out of 281 studies that showed up on initial search, 12 were included in our review. Research quality and level of evidence rating were determined for each study.
Of the 12 included studies, 9 supported PR at the time of bilateral cleft lip repair; 8 studies evaluated nasal growth and found no restriction over time; 4 studies followed 158 patients to an average of 15 years and showed 77% did not need secondary rhinoplasty.
Although the available literature supports PR in patients with bilateral cleft lip with respect to subjective and objective outcomes, nasal growth, and reducing the need for secondary/revision rhinoplasty, there are significant limitations, necessitating large volume studies.