Mulliken Method of Bilateral Cleft Lip Repair: Anthropometric Evaluation

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Background:Simultaneous surgical correction of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity is becoming more common. This is a major change from the conventional strategy of secondary nasal correction.Methods:Thirty patients with bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity were repaired using the Mulliken method between July of 1997 and December of 2002. This series was composed of 10 infants with bilateral complete cleft lip, 12 with bilateral incomplete cleft lip, and eight with bilateral asymmetric cleft lip, defined as complete on one side and incomplete on the other. A preoperative orthopedic appliance was employed in five infants who had severe collapse of the lateral maxillary segments. Mean age at the time of repair was 3.8 months.Result:Postoperative results were evaluated anthropometrically. The mean follow-up period was 3.8 years (range, 1.2 to 5.5 years). Nasal tip protrusion was low; interalar dimension was wide; columellar length was slightly short; upper cutaneous labial height was short; and vermilion-mucosal height was near normal. All anthropometric values approached controls by 5 years.Conclusion:Our modified Mullikenmethod is effective in correction of all forms of bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity. Further evaluation is needed for possible differences in outcome based on race and age at the time of operation.

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