Anthropometric and aesthetic outcomes for the nasolabial region in 101 consecutive African children with unilateral cleft lip one year after repair using the anatomical subunit approximation technique.Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2017; 46(10):1338-1345IJ
One hundred and one patients with complete or incomplete cleft lip underwent the anatomical subunit approximation technique for repair. The patients were followed up prospectively for 1year. The objective of this study was to determine the outcomes for the nasolabial area through anthropometric measurements and assessment of the Asher-McDade Aesthetic Index and Steffensen's criteria at 1year after surgery. Six assessors (three cleft surgeons and three non-surgeon medical professionals) examined cropped images; reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. The difference in lip length between the healthy and operated sides was 0.61mm and the difference in nostril diameter was 0.37mm (differences not significant). The average scar width was 2.78±1.35mm. Hypertrophic scars were observed in 9.9% of cases. The average Asher-McDade Aesthetic Index rating varied between 1.35 and 1.98 for all parameters. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.83, 0.89, 0.98, and 0.89 for nasal form, nasal symmetry, vermilion border, and nasolabial profile, respectively. Steffensen's criteria rated appearance as 'good' in 69.3% to 91.1% of cases. The anatomical subunit approximation technique can be performed in Sub-Saharan Africans for all types of unilateral cleft lip. It significantly improves the length of the medial and lateral lips, leaving an acceptable scar. A study with a larger sample size and longer follow-up is warranted.