Background The multitude of factors involved with a unilateral cleft lip nasal defect has spurred various surgical techniques in the past. Recently, synthetic materials have been introduced for use in nasal reconstruction.
Objective To report on and illustrate the use of porous high-density polyethylene implants in cleft lip nasal reconstruction.
Design A retrospective review of cleft lip nasal reconstruction using porous high-density polyethylene in patients with a unilateral cleft lip defect from January 1, 1993, through June 30, 2000.
Setting Facial plastic surgery private practice.
Patients Eighteen patients with a unilateral cleft lip without a history of formal rhinoplasty.
Interventions All 18 patients required multiple implants, including a columellar strut, premaxillary and prealveolar plumper grafts, a dorsal tip implant, and a unilateral nasal valve batten, using the open rhinoplasty approach.
Results Favorable aesthetic results, as judged by one of us (T.R.), were achieved in all patients. All implants were well tolerated. Postoperative follow-up ranged from 6 months to 7 years. A complication occurred in 1 patient (6%), which resolved with removal of a single implant and intravenous antibiotic therapy. No other complications, including skin erosion or implant extrusion, have been noted.
Conclusions Porous high-density polyethylene implants for cleft lip nasal reconstruction are well tolerated and achieve good aesthetic results. Porous high-density polyethylene implants lend stability through fibrovascular ingrowth, with integration of the implants to the surrounding tissue.