All children who are born with a cleft lip and palate also have deformity of the nose. This is because the cleft goes through the gum line and the floor of the nose. This means that there is a lack of structural support on the side of the cleft.
Unilateral Cleft lip and Palate
- The nasal septum deviates
- The nasal dorsum deviates
- The nasal tip (dome) is asymmetric
- The nasal base (sill) is wide
Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Nasal Deformity
When both sides are involved, typically the tip of the nose is broad and the nostrils (ala) are wide. The cartilage that forms the tip of the nose is separated and splayed out.
Functional and Anatomic Aspects
Before scheduling for cleft nasal reconstruction, there are two very useful measurements that our Cleft Center is experienced at obtaining. These results are used by our surgeons for planning the surgery.
Rhinomanometry testing measures nasal airway resistance (pressure) and nasal area during breathing through the nose. Rhinomanometry testing is done using the Perci-Sar System.
Craniofacial CT Scan: This allows the surgeon to assess the cleft nasal deformity and structural support from the upper jaw (maxilla) that the nose is supported by.