Repair of Bilateral Complete Cleft Lip: Intraoperative Nasolabial Anthropometry

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Synchronous repair of bilateral complete cleft lip and nasal deformity requires conception of three-dimensional form and fourth-dimensional changes with growth, as distorted by the malformation. The aim is to obviate typical postoperative nasolabial stigmata. The strategy is to construct fast-growing features on a smaller scale and slowgrowing features on a normal or slightly larger scale. In this study, intraoperative alterations in nasolabial dimensions were documented by anthropometry in 46 consecutive infants with bilateral complete cleft lip. These values were averaged and compared with measures from normal Caucasian infants at ages 0 to 5 months and 6 to 12 months. Nasal height (n-sn) and nasal width (al-al), both fast-growing features, were set smaller (88 percent and 96 percent, respectively) than those of age-matched normal infants. In contrast, the slow-growing features, nasal protrusion (sn-prn) and columellar length, were constructed longer than normal (130 percent and 167 percent, respectively). Because all labial features grow rapidly, they were made diminutive in this study, with the exception of central vermilion-mucosal height (median tubercle), which was purposively made full. These maneuvers resulted in a normal, average overall upper-lip height (snsto). Two technical refinements also are described: (1) construction of deepithelialized bands flanking the philtral flap to improve surface contour; and (2) positioning and fixation of the dislocated alar cartilages, performed entirely through superiomedial nostril rim incisions. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 107: 307, 2001.)

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