Patients born with a cleft lip can have associated changes with the nose that are collectively called cleft lip nasal deformity.
These deformities include a wide bridge, deviation of the nose, nostril asymmetries, poor nasal projection, and a wide nasal tip. These changes to the nose are due to the cleft lip and form during the babies development inside the mother’s womb.
Surgical repair of the cleft lip as a baby, some of the issues with the nose are corrected. However, as the child grows and reaches adulthood, some of the deformities can return or persist.
Cleft rhinoplasty is considered the most difficult type of rhinoplasty and should ideally be performed by a cleft surgeon or expert in rhinoplasty surgery.
The surgery may require the use of cartilage grafts from the patients ear or ribs. This makes the recovery after cleft rhinoplasty longer and less comfortable.
Patients undergoing cleft rhinoplasty should be aware that the aim of surgery is to bring about an improvement to aesthetic appearance of the nose. It is impossible to create a nose that is the same as someone who never had a cleft lip.
The cleft rhinoplasty is available on the NHS for eligible patients. Therefore, those patients with a past history of cleft lip should seek a referral to their local cleft centre.
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