Fascial Graft Repair of Wide Bilateral Cleft Lip Deformity

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Wide bilateral cleft lip deformity reconstruction represents a special difficulty as it affects the lip, nose, and maxillary segments making single-stage reconstruction sometimes unobtainable. Many surgical and nonsurgical techniques have been prescribed to facilitate the definitive repair. Although some of these techniques proved to be useful, they have their inherent limitations and add another treatment step with all its possible complications and costs. The authors present a new method to address muscle layer repair in 1-stage procedure. It entails using fascial graft obtained from the temporalis muscle fascia or fascia lata, to reconstruct orbicularis oris lip muscle. Seven patients of wide bilateral cleft lip deformity (mean 17 mm) with a mean age of 4.4 months were subjected to single-stage lip reconstruction. After measuring the defect between both lateral muscle segments in front of the premaxilla intraoperatively ensuring that direct muscle repair could not be obtained, a fascial graft was harvested and sutured to both muscle edges. The authors found that, regardless the defect size or premaxilla protrusion, all wide clefts could be reconstructed satisfactorily in 1 stage procedure. No serious postoperative complications have been encountered in the lip or donor areas. Early follow-up reporting of the patients revealed stable repair. However more follow-up is still needed to assess late sequelae. In conclusion, fascial graft muscle repair of wide bilateral cleft lip deformity enables early 1-stage lip reconstruction without tension. The added donor morbidity is minimal and well tolerated.

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