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My Cleft Lip and Palate Story! - Tampa, FL

Hi everyone! i was born with a unilateral complete...

hi everyone! i was born with a unilateral complete cleft lip nose and palate on the left side. i have had over twenty surgeries to date, including bone grafts, jaw distractions, lip revisions and rhinoplasties- the whole five yards! although i have all of the surgeries necessary to make life livable, i am still not quite done yet! i still want to fix many things about my appearance, but most notably, my nose and lip. i would love to have another nose job that fixes my asymmetricalities and makes the tip of my nose smaller and shorter. i feel like my nostrils are too long, and that the tip of my nose is too wide and 'fleshy'. i would love to have a small, angular nose, but for now i will just settle on fixing the things that have to do with my birth defect. i am going to pay a visit to my plastic surgeon soon, and i hope he has good news for me when i go!

upper jaw distraction photo!

i just found some old pre-op pictures right before i had my le fort I jaw distraction, and i decided it would be a cool idea to take a before and after pic with it! the surgery was in may of 2012 i believe. it was arguably the most difficult operation i've been through, but between the way to balanced out my profile, and made it easier to eat, talk and breathe, i'd say it was well worth it! :+)

saw my plastic surgeon today!

everyone in his office complimented me, and said i was very pretty. my doctor asked me what things i was concerned with, and i said 1.) the droopiness of my nasal tip 2.) my left nostril being asymmetrical 3.) the left side of my upper lip lacking any volume. he agreed with me on all these point and my surgery is scheduled for july 3rd!! i am so excited. he said he would do minor revisions on my nose for the problems i stated, and that he would be performing a dermal fat graft for my lip!

dermal fat graft results (???)

i've been looking EVERYWHERE to find before and after pictures of dermal fat grafts to the lips.
i am growing concerned that it may not be as permanent a solution as i need it to be.
the left side of my upper lip can't really be called a lip. there is no definition between the skin above it and the lip itself.
imagine a tattoo of an upper lip on your arm or something.
that's basically what i have!
does anyone have experience with dermal fat grafts? how much of the fat was reabsorbed, and were you happy with the procedure?

Ideal Proportions?

Hey guys!
I've been fiddling around a whole bunch lately and trying to figure out EXACTLY what I feel that I need to be fixed.
Basically, my nose is too long, wide, bulbous, and unstructured.
My nostrils are asymmetrical from the cleft.
My lips are too small, thin, and asymmetrical.
I feel like there are just so many things that need to be fixed still, and that just one more surgery won't be enough.
And as anyone who has undergone revision rhinoplasty knows, it gets tougher every time.
There is more scar tissue to deal with, and the results aren't as precise as you would want. I've had over 7 rhinoplasties already, so you can imagine my level of hope right now.
With my lips, I am slightly more hopeful. I've had only 1 or 2 revisions on them. I am undergoing a dermal fat graft, which is said to retain 70%-60% of its volume. That excites me.
There is ONE problem, though.
My surgeon is a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, he has been doing surgery on me since I was 3 weeks old, and I don't know how he would feel about really blowing my lips up. I want a really nice, full, upper lip, and I feel like my lower lip is just a bit lacking as well. I don't know exactly what he is going to say to that.
I am afraid that he might only want to correct the complete lack of volume in the left side of my lip and leave it at that.
My situation is quite a bit different, I am not seeing a private practice plastic surgeon, I am going to a children's hospital to have surgery covered by insurance for my cleft.
I'm going to try my best to present a good case to my surgeon as to why I need bigger lips, haha. Wish me luck!!
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Comments (4)

You are very pretty and seem like you have a lot of mental strength. Continue to think positive. I hope for the absolute best for you:)
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Really wishing you the best of luck. Hopefully the doc sees where you're coming from with the lips.
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Oh man, you've been through a LOT! I'm sorry you've had to deal with a cleft palate, but you're looking pretty darn good right now. I hope you're able to "finish the job" and get your nose where you want it. Please let us know what your surgeon says!

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I hope you are able to get get results you desire. Looking forward to follow your journey. Thanks for sharing.
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