Anatomical Reconstruction of the Nasal Floor in Complete Unilateral Cleft Lip Repair

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Numerous methods exist for repairing unilateral cleft lips and mainly focus on cutaneous design to achieve sufficient rotation of the medial (M) cleft lip and produce a natural Cupid's bow and philtrum. However, precise nasal floor reconstruction has not been described in detail. This is the first study to introduce a technique for repairing complete unilateral cleft lips with a focus on nasal floor reconstruction.


In our technique, “Straight-Line Advanced Release Technique (StART),” the nasal floor is considered a 3-dimensional cuboid structure; the M mucosal and lateral (L) mucosal flaps constituted the posterior surface. The M flap became the roof of the orbicularis oris muscle sling and the posterior side of the nasal lining. The B flap met the L lip flap at the superior border of the M flap, and together they formed the roof and anterior surface. The B flap also formed a transitional zone connecting the columella and nasal floor.


Seventy-two patients with complete unilateral cleft lip were treated from 2003 to 2015. The difference in the height of the nostril sills between the cleft and non-cleft sides was not significantly different from that in control patients (P = 0.472) 1 year postoperatively. Twenty operations for secondary deformities were performed: 8 for nose deformities not involving the nasal floor. The transverse scar at the alar base was concealed within the nostril.


Nasal floor reconstruction is important in complete unilateral cleft lip repair. Our technique provides a naturally shaped, symmetrical nasal floor without conspicuous scarring.

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