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Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

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Cleft lip and palate is the most frequent congenital craniofacial deformity. In this article, the authors describe their experience with cleft lip and palate repair.

Data regarding patients presenting with primary diagnosis of cleft lip and/or palate, between 2009 and 2015, were reviewed. Details including demographics, type of cleft, presence of known risk factors, surgical details, and follow-up visits were collected. Documented complications were reported. Caregivers’ satisfaction was assessed with a survey. The survey used to assess satisfaction with cleft-related features was based on the cleft evaluation profile (CEP). In addition, 4 assessors used visual analog scale (VAS) to assess the aesthetic satisfaction.

Seven hundred fifty-two patients with primary diagnosis of cleft lip and/or palate underwent surgical correction at ”S. Chiara” Hospital, 432 (57.45%) male and 320 (42.55%) female. The most common cleft types in our study were incomplete cleft palate (152 patients) and left unilateral complete cleft lip and palate (152 patients). Associated syndromes were found in 46 patients (6.12%). Cleft lip was repaired using a modified Tennison–Randall technique when the defect was unilateral, whereas a modified Mulliken technique was used for bilateral cleft lip. Cleft palate was repaired using the Bardach technique or Von Langenbeck technique at 5 to 6 months of age. Cleft lip and palate was repaired in several surgical steps. In total, complications were reported in 81 of 752 patients (14.16%). Average fathers’ satisfaction score assessed using CEP was 4.5 (lip), 4.8 (nose), 4.7 (teeth), 4.8 (bite), 4.2 (breathing), 4.6 (profile). Average mothers’ satisfaction score assessed using CEP was 4.3 (lip), 4.6 (nose), 4.4 (teeth), 4.5 (bite), 4.1 (breathing), 4.4 (profile). Average level of aesthetic satisfaction, assessed using VAS, was 8.7 (fathers), 8.1 (mothers), 7.9 (lay person), and 8.0 (senior cleft surgeon).

The multidisciplinary management of children with oral cleft determinated good results, in terms of satisfaction and aesthetic appearance. From our experience, periosteoplasty and lip-adhesion are key surgical techniques.

Keywords: Cleft lip; cleft palate; oral clefts; surgical repair

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cleft Lip and Palate Center, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Santa Chiara Hospital, Pisa, Italy.

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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