Assessment of secondary cleft rhinoplasty using resorbable plates at the age of primary school.J Craniofac Surg 2009; 20 Suppl 2:1801-5JC
Secondary rhinoplasty after a cleft lip repair remains a significant challenge. We have developed a technique in which resorbable plates are used to support the cleft alar cartilage to minimize relapse. There are few guidelines by which one can objectively assess the outcome of cleft rhinoplasty over time. This study attempts to demonstrate a means by which the symmetry and form of the proposed rhinoplasty technique can be evaluated.
Sixteen patients with unilateral cleft lip/palate repair had a secondary rhinoplasty performed at age 6 to 8 years, using a resorbable plate (resorption time, 2-3 years) placed between the nasal lining and cleft alar cartilage to simulate the shape of the noncleft cartilage. Photographs were taken preoperatively and postoperatively. Median follow-up was 9.6 +/- 2.8 months. Various angles and ratios were measured to demonstrate outcomes, comparing preoperative to postoperative measures, and symmetry between cleft and noncleft sides.
Postoperatively, the angle between the horizontal axis, drawn across the alar base and tangent to the alar rim on both sides, was significantly altered (P < 0.001); both sides were closer to 60 degrees (mean, 56.28 degrees), approximating the angle of the aesthetic norm. A measure of the angle between the horizontal axis and a line drawn from midpoint of axis to nasal tip was significantly closer to 90 degrees (P < 0.05). The shape of the affected nostril became more oval and symmetric relative to the unaffected side (P < 0.05). Angle between the horizontal axis and a line drawn through the widest point of each nostril was close to zero. (P < 0.001). The difference in nostril height between the cleft and noncleft sides was significantly decreased (P < 0.001).
We have objectively evaluated the outcomes of our technique of secondary cleft rhinoplasty using resorbable plates for alar support. A careful geometric evaluation of preoperative and postoperative photographs can help determine the symmetry and overall quality of the result. These measures may help to evaluate long-term outcomes of cleft rhinoplasty over time.