MOC-PS(SM) CME article: late cleft lip nasal deformity

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Apr;121(4 Suppl):1-11. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000305955.67554.40.


Learning objectives: After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the components of unilateral and bilateral secondary or delayed cleft lip nasal deformity. 2. Design and execute the surgical correction more logically. 3. Minimize the risks and better manage complications and suboptimal outcomes.

Summary: Rhinoplasty remains one of the most challenging plastic surgery procedures, and patients with a cleft lip nose deformity pose an even greater challenge. The biggest enigmas are achievement of caudal nose congruity and creation of symmetric nostrils. This article reviews the factors to consider when assessing a patient for correction of secondary cleft lip nasal abnormalities and the surgical techniques available to correct the deformities. Some of the components of the unilateral cleft lip nose deformity include asymmetric tip, short columella, long lateral crus, flat nostril, wide alar base, caudal positioning of the nostril floor on the cleft side, and a short and deviated columella. The common features of bilateral cleft lip nose deformity include short columella, underprojected tip, flat alae, and wide and often asymmetric and horizontal nostrils. While an endonasal approach can improve these noses, the most success is attained through an open technique. Systematic reorientation of distorted nasal architecture, especially the lower lateral cartilages, and creation of a balanced platform for the lower lateral cartilages constitute some of the cardinal principles for correcting the cleft lip nose deformities. Potential complications and ways to minimize them are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Cartilage / surgery
  • Cleft Lip / complications*
  • Current Procedural Terminology
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Maxilla / abnormalities
  • Nose / abnormalities*
  • Physical Examination
  • Rhinoplasty* / adverse effects
  • Rhinoplasty* / methods