Bilateral cleft lip nasal deformity
15 January 2020 (online)
Bilateral cleft lip nose deformity is a multi-factorial and complex deformity which tends to aggravate with growth of the child, if not attended surgically. The goals of primary bilateral cleft lip nose surgery are, closure of the nasal floor and sill, lengthening of the columella, repositioning of the alar base, achieving nasal tip projection, repositioning of the lower lateral cartilages, and reorienting the nares from horizontal to oblique position. The multiplicity of procedures in the literature for correction of this deformity alludes to the fact that no single procedure is entirely effective. The timing for surgical intervention and its extent varies considerably. Early surgery on cartilage may adversely affect growth and development; at the same time, allowing the cartilage to grow in an abnormal position and contributing to aggravation of deformity.
Some surgeons advocate correction of deformity at an early age. However, others like the cartilages to grow and mature before going in for surgery. With peer pressure also becoming an important consideration during the teens, the current trend is towards early intervention.
There is no unanimity in the extent of nasal dissection to be done at the time of primary lip repair. While many perform limited nasal dissection for the fear of growth retardation, others opt for full cartilage correction at the time of primary surgery itself. The value of naso-alveolar moulding (NAM) too is not universally accepted and has now more opponents than proponents. Also most centres in the developing world have neither the personnel nor the facilities for the same. The secondary cleft nasal deformity is variable and is affected by the extent of the original abnormality, any prior surgeries performed and alteration due to nasal growth.
This article reviews the currently popular methods for correction of nasal deformity associated with bilateral cleft lip, it's management both at the time of cleft lip repair and also secondarily, at a later date. It also discusses the practices followed at our centre.
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