Repair of the Nasal Floor by the Cleft Margin Flap in Bilateral Complete Cleft Lip

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Bilateral complete cleft lip deformity has been the most challenging to plastic surgeons, and lots of methods of repair have been described in the literature. The basic principles are to achieve continuity of the orbicularis oris muscle, a balanced Cupid's bow with nasal ala, and a complete reconstruction of the nasal floor. The last one is, however, easily neglected. A well-reconstructed nasal floor serves as a good support of the nasal cartilage, which minimizes secondary deformity. In addition, a nasal floor with sufficient soft tissue and minimal contracture makes bone grafting easier in the future. The cleft margin flap was first introduced by Tajima in 1983 and used for the nasal floor repair in the unilateral complete cleft lip. The authors have used this technique in bilateral complete cleft lip repair, and from our practice, tension-free repairs of the nasal floors could easily be achieved by the cleft margin flaps. The results were satisfying and no significant scar contracture or deformity of the nasal floor was observed during follow-up. The authors conclude that the cleft margin flaps are viable and alternative choices for the repair of the nasal floors in bilateral complete cleft lip without major complications.

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