Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation—Online Operative Syllabus and Video Review

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The Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF) founded by an American missionary surgeon, Dr Samuel Noordhoff in 1989 is a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to helping patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial deformities to receive holistic care medically and psychosocially.
Under his tutelage, the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Plastic Surgery Department in Taiwan achieved international repute and is the testament to the perfection of the art of cleft and craniofacial surgery.
The NCF has now made available instructional surgical videos for the correction of cleft lip deformities as practiced at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Craniofacial Center. These videos can be accessed at and streamed online for a payment of US $60.00 for a 12-month subscription. There are both English and Mandarin versions of all the surgical videos and operative syllabus.
The subscription provides access to the operative syllabus for “An Integrated Approach to Primary Lip/Nasal Repair in the Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate” which is basically a mini textbook explaining the treatment protocol and rationale of surgical technique for the repair of bilateral cleft lip and palate. Beautifully written and well illustrated, the work represents over 30 years of technical refinement in bilateral cleft lip and palate reconstruction. The only drawback here is that the technique has undergone further modifications by the lead author/surgeon Professor Philip Chen Kuo Ting at the present time but the text available depicts the protocol and technique used in 2009.
The other surgical video modules available includes “The Chang Gung Integrated Approach for Unilateral Cleft Lip/Nasal Deformity (2015)” and “An Integrated Approach to the Primary Lip Nasal Repair in Bilateral Cleft Lip & Palate (2009)” which presents the total comprehensive treatment protocol including presurgical nasoalveolar moulding (NAM), the surgical technique per se, and postoperative care. I found the section on NAM very useful especially for surgeons to understand how NAM is carried out on behalf of the orthodontists. In countries where there are inexperienced orthodontists in cleft care, the surgeon can review this video and implement NAM himself/herself because the process is very extensively described and shown in the video.
The surgical technique used for both video modules was elaborate, and in my opinion, may be quite hard for a novice cleft surgeon to implement or reproduce directly. However, many small tips, tricks, and pearls are revealed in these videos. One criticism, which may be levied, is that the alveolar gap for the bilateral lip repair featured for example was quite small with no protruding premaxilla/prolabium due to NAM. Surgeons in other countries who may not have access to NAM hence getting patients with severe protruding premaxilla and wide alveolar gaps may have to use other strategies. The quality of narration (voice over) was superb but I would have preferred if the surgeon (Philip Chen KT) himself provided the narration. The surgeries shown are a masterpiece and must be a labor of love that are a result of 3 decades of gestation, wisdom, and experience at the Chang Gung Craniofacial Center. The surgical video modules span almost over 1.5 hours each, and all steps are demonstrated with no omission of key techniques.
As a bonus, the original surgical technique for unilateral cleft lip repair as advocated by Dr Sam Noordhoff is also available as a surgical video module under the heading “The Surgical Technique for the Unilateral Cleft Lip-Nasal Deformity (1997).” Viewing this surgical video allows the viewer to appreciate the evolution of the original technique and protocol. It also features footage by Dr Samuel Noordhoff which is both historical and nostalgic.
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