This is an assessment of one surgeon's 15-year experience (1981-1995) using the Millard rotation-advancement principle for repair of unilateral complete cleft lip and nasal deformity. All infants underwent a prior labionasal adhesion. Since 1991, dentofacial orthopedics with a pin-retained (Latham) appliance was used for infants with a cleft of the lip and palate.
Technical variations are described, including modifications in sequence of closure. A high rotation and releasing incision in the columella lengthens the medial labial element and produces a symmetric prolabium with minimal transgression of the upper philtral column by the advancement flap. Orbicularis oris muscle is everted, from caudad to cephalad, to form the philtral ridge. A minor variation of unilimb Z-plasty is used to level the cleft side of Cupid's bow handle, and cutaneous closure proceeds superiorly from this junction. The dislocated alar cartilage is visualized though a nostril rim incision and suspended to the ipsilateral upper lateral cartilage. Symmetry of the alar base is addressed in three dimensions, including maneuvers to position the deviated anterior-caudal septum, configure the sill, and efface the lateral vestibular web.
Secondary procedures were analyzed in 105 consecutive patients, both revised (n = 30) and unrevised (n = 75). The possible need for revision in the latter group was determined by panel assessment of six indicators of nasolabial asymmetry, documented by frontal and submental photographs. In the entire study period, a total of 80 percent of children required or will need nasal revision, and a total of 42 percent required or will require labial revision. In the last 5 years, as compared with the earlier decade, there was a significantly diminished incidence of patients requiring labial revision (54 percent to 21 percent) and alar suspension (63 percent to 32 percent). These improvements are attributable to technical refinements and experience, although dentofacial orthopedics may also have played a role. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 1247, 1999.)
From the Craniofacial Centre and Division of Plastic Surgery at Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Received for publication September 29, 1998; revised April 22, 1999.
©1999American Society of Plastic Surgeons