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Board Certifications: American Board of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery American Board of Otolaryngology - ABO

Cleft Lip/Nose Deformity

Cleft lip nose deformity is a common birth defect that can severely impact a person’s appearance. In the United States, nearly all cleft lip nose deformities are corrected in infanthood, as failure to correct this deformity can result in developmental impairment, infection, and even death; however, cleft lip nose patients commonly require additional surgery later in life to fully correct the deformity. Most often, the surgery will be performed to correct obvious asymmetries in upper lip and nose. The surgery must be performed by a doctor who has received specific training in correcting cleft lip nose deformity. Dr. Sam Rizk, a New York facial plastic surgeon specializing in surgery of the face and neck, is highly experienced in correcting deformities associated with the cleft lip nose defect.

Cleft lip nose occurs when the upper lip does not form completely in utero, leaving a separation or "cleft" in the lip. In minor cases, the cleft may appear as a small notch or bump on the upper lip. In other cases, the split may extend up to the nose, leaving an opening in the lip and lower nose. About half of all children born with cleft lip will also suffer from cleft palate, which is a separation in the roof of the mouth and the most serious manifestation of the disorder. Cleft lip causes the lip and nose to develop asymmetrically, resulting in obvious deformities that can cause feeding issues, breathing difficulty, and speech problems, all of which ontribute to developmental delays in the child. As such, early surgical intervention is almost always recommended. Cheiloplasty, the surgery performed to correct cleft lip nose, typically produces positive results and allows the child to enjoy a normal childhood after surgery. In most cases, the child will not remember the surgery or the difficulties they experienced as a result of the condition.

Some patients require only one surgery early in life to correct cleft lip deformity; however, other patients will experience uneven growth of the lip and/or nose, which can result in obvious asymmetries in later childhood and will require surgical intervention to correct. Surgery to correct cleft lip and cleft palate can be performed as early as 10 weeks of age, but doctors recommend that nasal deformities not be corrected until the child has finished growing. It is usually safe to correct the nasal deformities associated with cleft lip nose through rhinoplasty when the child is about 15. Rhinoplasty to correct cleft lip nose is extremely complex and challenging. Surgeons must take many factors into consideration and are often presented with asymmetries or deformities that they have never corrected before. In addition, there are often functional problems present, such as abnormal nasal septa, turbinates, or weak nasal valves.

Located in NYC, Dr. Sam Rizk draws on his years of training and experience in performing nose surgery to help him perform complex rhinoplasties to correct cleft lip nose deformity. If you are looking for a surgeon to treat cleft lip nose deformity, please contact us today to set up an initial consultation. Whether this is your first reconstructive surgery or you have undergone surgery before, you can be assured that our caring doctor will find the right approach to correct the problem.

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