Preoperative Lip Taping in the Cleft Lip

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For the past 16 years, the senior author has used a nonsurgical method of mobilizing and approximating the soft tissues of the lip, nose, and maxilla before primary cleft lip repair. This has been accomplished effectively and inexpensively with the use of surgical tape applied to the lip across the cleft shortly after birth. The method used in applying the tape will be described. In addition to the positive soft-tissue effects, we found that lip taping effectively narrows, remodels, and approximates the alveolar arch, eliminating the need for initial orthodontia in all patients except those born with maxillary collapse. Lip taping accomplishes all of the goals of surgical lip adhesion at a fraction of the cost and eliminates the potential risk involved in one additional operation.

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