Management of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Management of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity can be a challenging task. This paper provides an overview of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity with an updated review of current management issues in the literature.

Recent findings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that orofacial clefts are now the most common birth defect. While this statistic may be disheartening, the increased prevalence brings the problem to light at the forefront of the medical community, thus gaining more support and resources. Many techniques have been described for repair of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity. A recent advancement in presurgical orthopedics is the use of nasoalveolar molding to narrow wide clefts.

Summary

Surgical management of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity poses a challenge to the skill and judgment of the cleft surgeon. Although techniques continue to evolve over the decades, the basic principles of cleft surgery remain the same. The main principles are to achieve an appropriate philtral size and shape, to position the cartilages in a more optimal position, and to attain muscular continuity and symmetry for optimal appearance and function. Thus, while keeping the basic principles in mind, management of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity becomes a valuable and rewarding experience for the surgeon, patient and caregiver.

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