The Effects of Presurgical Nasoalveolar Molding on the Midface Symmetry of Children with Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate: A Long-term Follow-up Study

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Abstract

Background:

Midface symmetry is an important indicator of success of complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (CUCLP) treatment. There is little literature on the long-term effects of presurgical nasoalveolar molding (PNAM) on midface symmetry in children treated for CUCLP. This study aimed to compare children with CUCLP who underwent PNAM before surgical interventions, children who did not receive PNAM, and age- and sex-matched controls in terms of midface symmetry.

Methods:

We evaluated 39 frontal facial photographs of 13 patients with CUCLP who underwent PNAM as part of the treatment (group 1: PNAM), 13 patient with CUCLP who did not undergo PNAM (group 2: no nasoalveolar molding), and 13 age- and sex-matched controls. The children were evaluated in their fifth year of life. Three midline and 3 bilateral orthopometric midface landmarks were programmed using a custom software (OnyxCeph3, Image Instruments GmbH, Germany), and corresponding linear measurements from the midline were obtained and compared between the groups using 1-way analysis of variance and Scheffe’s post hoc test.

Results:

Significant differences were observed between the control and CUCLP groups for the measurements of the proanasale, subnasale, and zygion. However, there were no significant differences between the PNAM and no nasoalveolar molding groups for the 6 midface landmarks.

Conclusions:

PNAM does not seem to significantly impact the long-term midface symmetry in children with CUCLP.

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