Atypical Outcomes of Nasal and Lip Appearance After Unilateral Cleft Lip Repair: Judgment by Professionals, Patients, and Laypeople

Robin A. Tan, Frans J. Mulder, Roderic M. F. Schwirtz, David G. M. Mosmuller, Henrica C. W. de Vet, J. Peter W. Don Griot

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Objective: To gain more insight into the assessment of “atypical” nasal and lip appearance outcomes compared to “typical” appearance outcomes after unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) repair, when judged by professionals, patients with repaired UCLP, and laypeople. Design: An online survey containing 3 series of photographs with various degrees of “typical” and “atypical” nasal and lip appearance outcomes after UCLP repair was sent to 30 professionals, 30 patients with repaired UCLP, and 50 laypeople in 2 countries. Participants were instructed to rank the photographs from excellent to poor based on overall appearance. Mean rank positions of photographs were analyzed and differences in mean rank score between “typical” and “atypical” results were assessed using a T-test. Agreement of ranking between the 3 groups was assessed with an analysis of variance analysis. Setting: Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Netherlands and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA. Patients: Photographs of 6- to 18-year-old patients with repaired UCLP. Results: “Atypical” appearance outcomes were ranked significantly less favorably (small nostril: P = 0.00; low vermillion border: P = 0.02; whistling deformity: P = 0.00) compared to “typical” outcomes. Difference between professionals, patients and laypeople in rank positioning the photographs was not statistically significant (P = 0.89). Conclusions: Noses with a smaller nostril and lips containing a whistling deformity were perceived as poorer outcome compared to the “typical” results. Professionals, patients, and laypeople are in agreement when assessing these outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1235
Number of pages10
JournalCleft palate-craniofacial journal
Issue number10
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • assessment
  • cleft lip and palate
  • nasolabial appearance
  • photographic evaluation
  • survey

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