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Ann Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Jul;3(2):173-7. doi: 10.4103/2231-0746.119229.

Simultaneous options for cleft secondary deformities.

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Department of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Santo Spirito Hospital, Rome, Italy.



So much has been written by so many about secondary procedures in cleft surgery that testify not only the complexity and variable expression of cleft deformity itself but also the need to find methods of primary surgery that will reduce, if not avoid, adverse effects on all the structures and functions involved and affected. It must be the principal aim of cleft surgeon to restore the deformed and displaced regional anatomy to as close to normality as possible, whether or not true hypoplasia exists. The pathogenesis of secondary deformities is related to specific features as: the presence of scar tissues into the cleft basal bone area, that inhibits alveolar growth; scarring of palatal soft tissue, that inhibits growth and causes palatal orientation of dentoalveolar elements; and the exceeding lip tension, that may inhibits maxillary growth along dentoalveolar structures.


From 2008 to 2011 at the Department of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Santo Spirito Hospital, Rome 25 patients (21 males and 4 females) who had undergone previous surgery for unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) and bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP) were enrolled in our study. Diagnosis of deformity was made by means of a cephalometric and photographic analysis (Arnett), gipsometry and a radiological assessment (orthopantomography, lateral and frontal cephalometric X-rays). Moreover, every patient was studied with a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) tomography, TMJ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a computerized gnatography to better evaluate potential TMJ dysfunctions. The surgical procedures adopted simultaneously were: Total or segmental maxillomandibular osteotomies, genioplasty, rhinoplasty, labioplasty, and application of facial prosthesis. Every patient received a postoperative questionnaire to evaluate his/her satisfaction with the surgery performed.


The surgical procedures adopted were Le Fort I osteotomy and bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) in 16 patients (65%) and only Le Fort I osteotomy in 9 patients (35%). A relapse of malformation occurred in 4.5% of cases. Concerning the patient questionnaire, 96% of patients were satisfied with the jaw surgery and favorable for combined surgery, 88% were satisfied with lip-nose surgery, and finally 76% would advise to a friend.


Simultaneous correction of the deformities is indicated as to avoid several surgical distresses for the patient, to improve facial aesthetic and function in one surgical step, and to reduce risk of psychological consequences.


Cleft lip and palate; maxillomandibular osteotomies; rhinoplasty; secondary surgery

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