Primary correction of nasal deformity in unilateral incomplete cleft lip: A comparative study between three techniques

Ting Chen Lu, Wee Leon Lam, Chun Shin Chang, Philip Kuo-Ting Chen

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Nasal deformities secondary to incomplete cleft lip are often underestimated in terms of their severity with resultant sub-optimal treatment. Constant refinements have led to the evolution of different surgical techniques in our institution for the treatment of these deformities. This study compared three different techniques in achieving nasal asymmetry for patients with unilateral incomplete cleft lip. Methods: Sixty-six patients who had primary correction of incomplete cleft lip nasal deformities at the age of 3 months were reviewed later at the age of 5 or 6. The patients were divided into three groups as according to the surgical treatment received: Group I (n = 21) underwent a closed rhinoplasty with cartilage dissection and repositioning through lip incisions; Group II (n = 25) underwent a semi-open rhinoplasty technique with cartilage dissection through bilateral rim incisions; and Group III (n = 20) received a semi-open rhinoplasty technique through a Tajima incision on the cleft side and a rim incision on the contralateral side. Using photo-analysis, a total of seven measurements were obtained comparing the cleft side with the non-cleft sides, including bilateral nostril height, nostril width, height-to-width ratio, medial dome height, nasal sill height, nostril area, nasolabial angle and nostril axis. Results: All the patients benefitted from primary correction of their incomplete cleft lip and nasal deformities. In addition, Group III patients achieved superior results over Groups I and II in terms of nostril height ratio and nostril axis (p < 0.005). Conclusion: Primary correction of the nasal deformity is an important component of surgery at the time of lip correction. Our results indicated that a semi-open rhinoplasty technique accompanied by the Tajima incision provides the best overall nasal symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-463
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cleft lip nose
  • Incomplete cleft lip
  • Tajima incision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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