Nasal deformity is associated with congenital cleft lip and palate. Primary rhinoplasty for reconstruction of the nasal deformity at the time of bilateral cleft lip repair is a controversial issue in cleft care due to traditional teaching concerning the potential impairment of nasal growth. This study assessed long-term nasal growth in patients with bilateral cleft lip and palate who underwent primary rhinoplasty by a single surgeon between 1995 and 2002 and reached skeletal maturity (n = 39; mean: 19 ± 2 years). Normal age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched subjects (n = 52) were enrolled for comparative analyses. Three-dimensional nasal photogrammetric measurements (10 linear, 4 angular, 6 proportional, 1 surface area, and 1 volume parameter) were collected from patients with bilateral cleft lip and palate and normal subjects. Patients who underwent rhinoplasty presented with significantly (all p < 0.05) smaller nasal tip projection and nasal tip angles, but greater values for nasal dorsum length, nasal protrusion, alar width, columellar height, dome height, columellar angle, labiocolumellar angle, nasal tip height ratio, nasal index, alar width/intercanthal distance ratio, and alar width/mouth width ratio compared to normal subjects. There were no differences (all p > 0.05) in nasal height, tip/midline deviation, nasal dorsum angle, dome-to-columella ratio, columella height/alar width ratio, area surface, and volume parameters between the two groups. This study shows that primary rhinoplasty performed in patients with bilateral cleft lip and palate during infancy does not result in deficiency of the nasal dimensions relative to controls.
Keywords: bilateral cleft lip nose deformity; cleft nose deformity; intermediate cleft rhinoplasty; outcome; primary cleft rhinoplasty; three-dimensional analysis.