L-Shaped Septal Extension Spreader Graft for Improvement of Tip Symmetry in Unilateral Cleft Lip Nose Deformities

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Abstract

Introduction

The unilateral cleft lip nose is characterized by numerous complex and interdependent deformities. Secondary rhinoplasty techniques aim to correct cleft lip nose deformities by using multiple maneuvers combining septum and nasal spine medialization and alar cartilage, as well as soft tissue mobilization and repositioning. Moreover, cartilage grafting is frequently used to restore adequate tip projection and nasal symmetry. We present a technique of cartilage grafting commonly used in noncleft rhinoplasties that we modified for cases of moderate cleft lip nose deformities.

Patients and Methods

We present a retrospective case study of 21 patients with moderate unilateral cleft lip nose deformities who underwent secondary septorhinoplasty with an L-shaped septal extension spreader graft combined with alar rim, alar batten graft, and soft tissue repositioning. Exclusion criteria were severe or complex septal deviation avoiding a stable fixation of the graft. Mean follow-up time was 28 months. Surgical outcomes were analyzed by anthropometric measurements of standardized preoperative and postoperative photographs.

Results

All parameters improved except for the nostril height. The height between the alar base and the dome defining dome symmetry, as well as the angles between the lower lateral cartilage and the alar base (α) defining the orientation of the alar rim, improved significantly. The mean ratios of cleft/noncleft side of the height between the alar base and the dome and α showed statistically significant improvements from 0.833 (preoperative) to 0.994 (postoperative) (P < 0.0001) and from 0.883 to 1.02 (P = 0.0038), respectively.

Conclusions

The L-shaped septal extension spreader graft combined with alar batten graft and soft tissue repositioning is an option for secondary rhinoplasties in unilateral cleft lip nose deformities minimizing tip rigidity with significant improvement of the dome's height and its symmetry, as well as the alar side angle.

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