Unilateral cleft lip is a facial deformity that occurs when the mid line facial tissues around the lip and mouth are not joining together. Unilateral cleft lip surgery in India is an art of handling soft tissues and facial muscles with proper attention to reconstruct the normal appearance.
Identify the nature of cleft lip
There are multiple elements that need to be considered to achieve the desired result for the unilateral cleft repair surgery. The baby needs to be evaluated carefully before the surgery to identify the cleft is unilateral or bilateral. The extension of the cleft lip is also identified before the surgery as it may require multiple surgical sittings. Even though unilateral deformity is partial, the nature of the nasal involvement is also to be assessed. If there is a significant nasal imperfection, it is essential to conduct a primary nasal correction before the unilateral cleft lip and palate surgery. The child with extended clefts may need orthodontics and required a combined surgical procedure. If the palate is involved along with cleft lip, the surgical procedure becomes more complex.
Unilateral cleft lip surgery in India
The aim of unilateral cleft lip repair surgery in India is to reconstruct a functional and normally looking lip. The primary unilateral cleft lip repair surgery in India usually performs at the early stage of the development of a child. The doctors recommend 3 months as a child gained a weight of 5 to 6 kg during that stage of development.
To achieve a better result for unilateral cleft lip surgery, the long-term surgical protocol is necessary as it may involve gradual procedures over the years like two-flap palatoplasty, bone graft, and rhinoplasty. The unilateral cleft lip surgery in India requires a well-experienced surgeon as primary and secondary unilateral cleft lip surgery is a complex procedure. An organized follow-up is the most important part after the surgery procedure.
Skeletal symmetry is another important part of unilateral cleft lip surgery. To achieve a complete rectification of cleft lip deformity, the regularity of the skeletal base is crucial. Therefore, it’s essential to achieve a skeletal regularity at the very early stage of child development.
Finally, there are two major concerns over performing unilateral cleft lip surgery- lip closure and scarring. It mainly depends on the nature of the tissue and the kind of surgical technique used to rectify the cleft lip. Following are the three main surgical techniques used to correct unilateral cleft lip:
Millard’s Rotation Advancement Procedure: The rotational advancement technique developed by Millard is one of the most accepted surgical technique to treat unilateral cleft lip. In which the cleft is filled by the flap taken from the non-cleft side.
Triangular Flap Repair of Tennyson: It’s developed by Tennyson, in which the surgeon effectively transfers the tissue from the lateral lip element to the mid line on the cleft side.
Triple Wedge technique: The triple wedge technique is based on the triangular flaps. It helps to prevent secondary contraction as it avoids straight-line scar.