Augmentation of the nasal floor with Surgicel in primary lip repair: a prospective study showing no efficacy.Ann Plast Surg 1999; 42(2):149-53AP
The symmetry of the alar base and the nasal floor is very important in achieving a satisfactory result in primary lip and nasal reconstruction during cleft lip repair. The skeletal base of the nasal pyramid is usually hypoplastic even in incomplete clefts. A periosteal pocket filled with Surgicel can facilitate blood clot formation and can theoretically stimulate bone formation, thereby improving the asymmetry of the bone base. To test this hypothesis, a prospective study was performed in 64 primary lip repairs by comparing the effect of subperiosteal nasal floor augmentation with Surgicel. From February 1989 to June 1993, 64 patients with incomplete cleft lips (excluding occult cleft lip and complete clefts with Simonart's band) were operated by the same surgeon. The patients were divided randomly into two groups. One group had subperiosteal nasal floor augmentation with Surgicel and the other group did not. The lip repair was a rotation-advancement cheiloplasty with primary closed rhinoplasty of the tip and ala. In the first group, a subperiosteal pocket was created under the cleft alar base and the nasal floor. The pocket was filled with Surgicel up the point where the level of the alar base and the nasal floor was symmetrical with the noncleft side. The control group underwent a similar procedure, less the creation of the subperiosteal pocket and the use of Surgicel. All patients were followed for at least 3 years and their photographs were used to compare and analyze the results of their nasal correction. Critical attention was paid to the symmetry of their nasal floor and alar base. The results were evaluated by at least two plastic surgeons for consistency. The data indicate that the control group showed a higher number of subjects with asymmetry (10 of 32) compared with the study group (8 of 32). However, there was no statistical significance to the findings. Two patients in the study group who received Surgicel developed hypertrophic lip scars. This study, although unable to determine statistically the contributory affect of Surgicel in primary nasal reconstruction, does show a possible benefit from the use of osteogenic materials in the primary management of the deficient nasal floor. Hypertrophic scars developed by 2 patients in the study group may point to a possible soft-tissue reaction to the use of Surgicel in primary lip and nasal repair.