Cleft palate. (photos)

What can be done to improve the appearance of cleft lip and nose

Doctor Answers 3

What can be done to improve the appearance of cleft lip and nose

Many individuals have undergone cleft lip repair as a child or infant and require revision at a later time in life, either as a child or as an adult. Often revisions can be relatively small but yield big results with regards to the lip. Lip scars can be improved as can the contour of the red part of the lip. When one has a cleft lip, there is also distortion of the nose. There is a procedure called a cleft rhinoplasty which can greatly improve the appearance of one's nose and improving significantly the asymmetry that is typically there if the nose has not been repaired following a cleft lip repair.

Cleft lip and nose improvement

Hello and thank you for your question.

It is unclear how much surgery you may already have undergone and I notice that there is no hair in the philtrum or centre of the lip. It looks like you have a repaired bilateral cleft lip and I would assume a repaired cleft palate from the title of your question.

There are techniques available to help you and, depending on your previous history, the examination findings (particularly scarring from previous surgery) and your aims and expectations, then I would think that yes, it would be possible to improve the appearance of the nose and lip. A full consultation including assessment of hearing, dentition and speech would allow the surgeon to give further advice but on the views that I can see I am sure the improvement in lip symmetry and a reduction of the size and shape of the nasal tip would be possible. It may be possible to put hair grafts into the middle of the upper lip to make it stand out less. 

I would advise a full consultation with an experienced cleft lip and palate surgeon or team.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

best wishes 

Tariq Ahmad, MBBChir, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Cleft rhinoplasty and lip revision

Thanks for your question.  It is not uncommon for individuals with cleft lip and nasal deformities to require a definitive repair in adulthood.  I would recommend seeking an in-person consultation with board certified facial plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options.  Based on your limited photos, a definitive septorhinoplasty in conjunction with a lip revision will bring improved balance to your lip and nose, likely improve breathing, and overall greatly reduce the stigmata associated with your congenital defect. 

Best wishes to you!

Christian L. Stallworth, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.