A method of primary cleft lip nasal repair utilizing a medially based composite alar flap with a mucosal tab extension is presented. The procedure modifies, with a 5- to 6-mm mucosal tab extension, a previously described chondromucosal flap technique. Most cases were done concurrent with a modified Tennison lip repair. The flap consists of the lateral crus of the alar cartilage, together with its vestibular lining. The flap is advanced medially so the dome provides the tip support for the affected side of the nose. The goal is to restore symmetry, obviating the need for future major nasal surgery. Experience with this technique in 32 patients over 4 years is reported. Although encouraged by our results, it is anticipated significant percentage of patients will still benefit from secondary nasal surgery when their nasal growth is complete.
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