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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2015

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2/2015

Dependence of columella development on the technique used for primary cleft lip closure

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery > Ausgabe 2/2015
Vedat Yildirim, Julia Kaiser, Alexander Hemprich, Karsten Winter, Niels Christian Pausch
Wichtige Hinweise
Presented at the 12th International Congress on Cleft Lip/Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies, May 5–10, 2013, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Presented at the 25th Symposium of the German Interdisciplinary Workshop on Cleft Lip/Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies under the cooperation of the German Associations of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Speech Therapy, Paediatric Audiology and Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Mainz Germany, Oct. 5–6, 2012



Primary cleft lip closure can be achieved by use of different types of surgery. The procedures of Millard, Veau, and Delaire are among the techniques most frequently performed worldwide. The factors which affect development of the columella have not been studied, however.


University Hospital of Leipzig, Germany, Department of Oral, Craniomaxillofacial and Facial Plastic Surgery.

Patients, participants

In a comparative, retrospective, non-randomised study, we obtained anthropometric details from photographs of 120 unilateral and bilateral cleft patients after cleft lip closure by use of the techniques of Millard or Veau (n = 60) and Delaire (n = 60). Length and shape of the columella was assessed twice—first at the age of 10 months and again at the age of 10 years. Anthropometric characteristics of columella morphology and development were compared between the two groups.


At the age of 10 months, the ratio of nasal height to width (interalar distance) was significantly different for unilateral and bilateral cases, and results were better for the Delaire groups (p = 0.001 unilateral and p > 0.001 bilateral). This effect was no longer apparent at 10-year follow up. Another index which tended to indicate better results in the Delaire groups was the nasal width index. In the summary of the anthropometric values investigated, however, differences between the Millard or Veau group and the Delaire group were marginal.


Cleft lip closure by the technique of Millard for unilateral cleft lips and of Veau for bilateral cases is neither better nor worse than Delaire cheiloplasty for unilateral and bilateral clefts.

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