How Can My Cleft Lip Scar And Nose Asymmetry Be Fixed?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have finally decided  as an adult to have my cleft lip scar and nose asymmetry repaired. What I don’t like about my face is that I have a prominent lip scar, a downturned and twisted nose and an overall flatter face. I have attached some pictures so you can clearly see what I mean. What specific procedures do you think I will need and how are they done?

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. You have many of the very typical lip/nose/midface cleft-induced deformities that many so affected patients have. In analyzing how to make a significant improvement, I would recommend the following approach. A full septoprhinoplasty is needed to straighten out the whole nose and give the tip more projection and some narrowing. You would need a cartilage rib graft to build up the base of the nose (pyriform aperture/paranasal regions) by onlay grafting and as a columellar strut to improve tip projection and support. Your cleft lip repair is pretty good at the cupid’s bow area but I would excise the philtral scar and re-unite the underlying orbicularis muscle better.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana