A Model for the Cleft Lip Nasal Deformity

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The underlying pathology of the cleft lip nasal deformity has yet to be fully realized, and cleft lip rhinoplasty continues to challenge the reconstructive surgeon. A new model is proposed, which is composed of elements that represent known anatomical structures of the nose. These structures are considered elemental to the mechanism of the primary cleft lip nasal deformity. The lobule is reduced to four arches. Five points on the skull provide foundations for these arches, which react interdependently to extrinsic forces and positional change. When certain changes are imposed on the model, predictable alterations in the configuration of the model imitate the observed deformities in the spectrum of the cleft lip nasal deformity, unilateral and bilateral, mild through severe. The model is described with illustrations, anatomic dissection, physical models, and selected clinical cases. A better understanding of the mechanisms of the cleft nasal deformities can be obtained through analysis of the model. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 101: 1448, 1998.)

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