Since 2012, the senior author has incorporated the natural curvature of rib cartilage as an alar rim graft in addition to the diced cartilage technique for unilateral cleft rhinoplasty. The aim of this study is to describe this modification and evaluate its long-term results regarding nasal symmetry using three-dimensional stereophotogrammetric assessment (3dMDface system).
From 2012 to 2018, 47 consecutive patients that underwent secondary unilateral cleft rhinoplasty were reviewed retrospectively. Sixteen patients with both preoperative and postoperative three-dimensional photographs taken at least 6 months after the operation were included. SimPlant O&O software was used to measure parameters on three-dimensional photographs: nostril heights, nostril widths, nasal dorsum heights, alare width, nostril areas, overlapping nostril area, nasal tip protrusion, nasal length, and nasal height before and after surgery. The ratios between cleft and noncleft sides were calculated. In addition, the overlapping nostril area ratio, tip protrusion-width index, and nasal index were compared before and after surgery.
The preoperative nostril height ratio (0.79), nostril width ratio (1.24), and nasal dome height ratio (0.84) between cleft and noncleft sides were significantly improved after surgery to 0.93, 1.06, and 0.97, respectively. The preoperative overlapping nostril area ratio (72.33 percent), nasal tip protrusion-width index (0.48), and nasal index (0.81) also showed significant improvement postoperatively to 83.91 percent, 0.57, and 0.74, respectively.
This preliminary study supports the use of natural curvature of rib cartilage as alar rim graft in secondary unilateral cleft rhinoplasty, with long-term improvement regarding nasal symmetry and nasal profile.
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