Primary repair of the alveolar cleft

J Craniofac Surg. 2011 Nov;22(6):2224-6. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31823200c3.


Nasoalveolar fistula and oropharyngeal fistula of the anterior palatal region are very commonly seen in cases when there are concomitant clefts of the lip and the palate. Absence of adequate tissue in that region complicates the treatment and necessitates new tissue transfers from near or distant tissues. Today, the techniques used for correcting cleft lip cannot successfully solve these 2 problems. In this study, we describe a technique that depends on the principle of using the lip mucosal tissues that remains during the Tennison cleft lip correction technique, with a flap designation, to correct the tissue defect of the cleft between the foramen incisivum and lip and the alveolar region. Twenty-two patients (13 boys and 9 girls), with ages ranging from 3 to 53 months (mean, 24 mo), with unilateral cleft lip and palate underwent surgery with this new technique. In all these patients, clefts in the anterior palatal and alveolar regions were successfully corrected. Fistula was observed in none of these patients in these regions. Through this method, clefts in the anterior palatal and alveolar regions can be corrected during repair of cleft lips.

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Process / surgery*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cicatrix / surgery
  • Cleft Lip / surgery*
  • Cleft Palate / surgery*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Treatment Outcome