European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 11–22 | Cite as

Critical choices in cleft surgery: 18-year single-surgeon retrospective review of 900 cases

  • Adham FaroukEmail author
Original Paper



Multidisciplinary management of orofacial clefts may lead to a successful treatment outcome. However, it is quite usual that lack of long-term treatment planning and collaboration among various specialists and lack of standardized surgical protocols result in poor esthetic and functional treatment outcomes. This article aims to hypothesize some critical determinants of outcome in cleft surgery.


Throughout a period of 18 years, 900 patients with different clinical types of congenital cleft anomaly were subject to primary repair of cleft lip, nose, and palate by single surgeon using various procedures, including preoperative nasoalveolar molding, two-stage and one-stage repair of complete cleft lip and palate, two-flap and one-flap palatoplasty, open tip rhinoplasty, and postoperative nasal molding.


Clinical results of preoperative nasoalveolar molding and surgical repair of lip, nose, and palate were satisfactory for most patients, parents, and surgeon panel.


Treatment based on the individual patient’s facial assets and deficits must be the controlling factor in designing therapy. The essential key to successful management of clefts is to figure out the three-dimensional dynamics that govern the deformity and to recognize a fourth dimension for time along these dynamics in order to envision how a small difference in the position of a single suture during the first surgery can bring about a giant deformity upon completion of facial growth, hence the crucial role of the first surgery and its related concepts, techniques, and tactics in dictating the final outcome of the case.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study.


Cleft lip palate Orofacial clefts Rhinoplasty Outcomes 


Ethical standards

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. However, for this retrospective study a formal consent from a local ethics committee is not required.

Conflict of interest

Adham Farouk declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Patient consent

Written consent was obtained from the parents or legal guardians of patients included in the study. Additional permission was obtained for the use of their images.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lecturer of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryFaculty of Medicine, Alexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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