There are numerous methods of repairing a cleft lip. In our institution, two methods have been used for primary lip repair, the triangular flap method, and the rotation-advancement plus small triangular flap method. The purpose of this study was to compare postsurgical anthropometric results following these two surgical methods.
Twenty children with a unilateral complete cleft lip, alveolus and palate (UCLAP) were selected for this study. Ten underwent primary lip repair by the triangular flap method (Triangular Group), and the other 10 underwent repair by the rotation-advancement plus small triangular flap method (Rotation Group).
They were documented with a three-dimensional optical scanner, and analysed with computer-aided anthropometric method reported previously (Comput. Methods Programs 58: 159-173, 1999a; J. Cranio-Maxillofac Surg 27: 345-353, 1999b).
The shapes of the nose and nostril were a little better in the Rotation Group. However, in the Rotation Group, differences between good and poor cases were more extreme than in the Triangular Group. The shape of Cupid's bow was good shortly after surgery in the Triangular Group. A good shape of Cupid's bow was also obtained in the Rotation Group, but the improvement was more delayed. On the non-cleft side, the length of Cupid's bow was more extended in the Triangular Group. Certain deformities were common to both groups, such as deviation of the columella and a flattened ala on the cleft side.
Rotation-advancement plus the small triangular flap method was thought to produce somewhat better results, however, further improvements in the technique are needed.