Assessing an avoidable and dispensable reoperative entity: Self-referred flawed cleft lip and palate repair.Hell J Nucl Med. 2015 Sep-Dec; 18 Suppl 1:140.HJ
Cleft lip and palate (CLP) is comprised within the wide range of congenital deformities of the maxillofacial region with an overall incidence on the increase from 1:1000 to 1:700 live births thus being the most common congenital birth error. Failure of the lateral and medial nasal processes to fuse with the anterior extension of maxillary processes and of the palatal shelves between the 4th and 8th gestational week results in cleft lip and palate. Clefts include different types with variable severity, confirming the complexity and unpredictable expression of cleft modality and have a multifactorial aetiology. Functional impairment, aesthetic disturbances and psychosocial effects are common sequalae in patients with cleft lip and palate. The main long-term morbidity of this condition may include dysfunctional speech, impaired hearing and communication, as well as dental problems. These complications are followed by unfavourable surgical outcome and aesthetic appearance, which all seem to affect this group of patients significantly and have an impact significantly both quality of life and healthcare. Treatment requirements of cleft patients are multifactorial and a multi-disciplinary approach and intervention at multiple levels is necessary. Yet, in this country, resources available to parents and consistent publicity given to this issue and its treatment are still inadequate in spite of the introduction of "Centres of Excellence" and Unified Hospitalization Coding or DRG equivalents to optimize health management. The multi-disciplinary approach to cleft management has been a reality for over a century while cleft treatment protocols are still being evaluated in order to optimise standards of cleft care. According to relevant guidelines primary surgical management of lip and palate defects is performed during the first 3 to 9 months of life. Secondary operations in the form of revisional lip and nose procedures are performed at later stages aiming with an aesthetically improved outcome. Indications for surgery include widened scars, lip contour deformities, shortened lips, poorly defined and flattened nasal tip, short columella and irregularities of the nostrils (narrow or high-riding) and cartilages. Wound dehiscence, contractures, vermilion notching, white roll malalignment and orovestibular fistulas are possible unfavourable results after cleft lip repair. The psychological status of children and adults with repaired cleft lip and palate has been the subject of extensive research especially regarding the way of their evaluation facial appearance, satisfaction and need for secondary corrective surgical procedures in the hope of increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence.
The aim of this study was to assess secondary CLP deformity management in an accredited present-day tertiary hospital facility with an existing infrastructure of a specialist teams however not formed in a multidisciplinary group. Equally, to answer questions of specific operation indications and choice as related to prior surgeries, hospitalization time and cost, provision of adequate preoperative information, correlation between paediatric and plastic surgeons and effect of post-plastic surgical care on patients' health and well-being. It also aims at presenting, beyond our current primary cleft lip and palate repair approach, appropriate indications and timing of secondary repair and achieved results.