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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2013 Oct;41(7):e105-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2012.11.034. Epub 2013 Jan 1.

Aesthetic outcome of cleft lip and palate treatment. Perceptions of patients, families, and health professionals compared to the general public.

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Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (Head: Prof. Dr. C. Katsaros), School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:


The aesthetic outcome of cleft treatment is of great importance due to its complex management and the psychosocial consequences of this defect. The aim of the study was to assess the aesthetic evaluations of patients following cleft surgery by various groups and investigate potential associations of the assessments with life quality parameters. Head photos of 12 adult patients with treated unilateral cleft lip and palate were evaluated by laypeople and professionals. A questionnaire was distributed and answered by the patients and their parents. Intra-panel agreement was high (α > 0.8) for laypeople and professionals. Between-groups agreement was high for both laypeople and professionals, but not when patients and/or parents were tested. Professionals, parents, and patients were more satisfied with patients' appearance than laypeople, although in general all groups were not highly satisfied. Low satisfaction with aesthetics correlated with increased self-reported influence of the cleft in the patients' social activity and professional life (0.56 < rho < 0.74, p < 0.05). These findings highlight the observed negative influence of the cleft on the patient's social activity and professional life and underline the need for the highest quality of surgical outcome for this group of patients.


Cleft lip and palate; Facial aesthetics; Outcome assessment

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