Photogrammetric Comparison of Two Methods for Synchronous Repair of Bilateral Cleft Lip and Nasal Deformity

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The principle of synchronous repair of bilateral complete cleft lip and nasal deformity is established, and the techniques are evolving. We undertook photogrammetric comparison of the method described by Mulliken (group I, n = 15) and that described by Trott (group II, n = 10). Facial proportions and angles were measured on preoperative and postoperative photographs using defined anthropometric points. The following criteria were quantified for each test group: nasolabial angle, nasal tip angle and projection, nasal width, columellar length and width, and philtral width. All parameters in both groups were compared against each other and against normal age-matched values. Results were analyzed by t test.

The nasolabial angle, nasal tip angle, and nasal width were abnormally wide for both techniques (p < 0.01 for both), and there was no difference between them. Nasal tip projection was greater than normal in both techniques (p < 0.01); group I had significantly greater projection than group II (p = 0.02). Columellar length as a proportion of nasal tip protrusion approached normal in group I but was significantly shorter than normal in group II (p < 0.001). Columellar width, as a proportion of nasal width, was normal for both groups. Philtral width, in proportion to nasal width, was normal in group I and abnormally high in group II (p < 0.001). This difference was significant between the two groups (p < 0.001).

In a separate cohort of 10 group I patients, the nasolabial angle was measured on lateral photographs taken 1 year post-repair and at intervals to late childhood and adolescence. Nasolabial angle changed with age from obtuse to normal in 7 of 10 patients followed to 9 years of age and in 5 of 6 patients followed until age 15 years. Columellar and upper labial inclination to the vertical were measured in 7 of these patients at 3 to 4 years and again at 13 to 15 years. There was an increase in inclination of both columella and the upper lip, between the ages of 3 to 4 and 13 to 15 years, reflecting improved lip support and growth of septum and lateral cartilages. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 102: 1339, 1998.)

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