DOI: 10.1177/10556656231207205 ISSN: 1055-6656

Evaluation of Long-Term Outcomes of Transverse Facial Cleft Repair

Ju Hee Kim, So Young Lim
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oral Surgery


To evaluate the long-term outcomes of linear commissuroplasty and linear skin closure with a focus on commissural migration.


Retrospective study.


Individuals who underwent transverse facial cleft repair at a single institution between 2004 and 2021.


The disrupted orbicularis oris muscle was reoriented and sutured. A simple linear commissuroplasty technique was used, and the cheek skin was closed linearly without Z-plasty.

Main outcome measures

The distances from Cupid's bow peak to the oral commissure were measured bilaterally, and the difference between the normal and cleft sides was obtained. Finally, its proportional value as a percentage of the total lip length was calculated from short- and long-term follow-up photographs. Cheek scarring and its effects on melolabial fold breakage were evaluated.


Of the 18 patients who underwent transverse facial cleft repair, 12 were included in this study. The mean follow-up period based on medical photographs was 1773.5 days. The average proportional difference was 4.6%, demonstrating no observable commissural migration. There were no consistent trends in the direction of migration, either on the cleft or normal side. In patients with a transverse cleft crossing the melolabial fold, the folds appeared broken before and after the cleft repair surgery.


No significant long-term commissural migration was observed after transverse facial cleft repair with simple linear commissuroplasty and linear skin closure. Deliberate positioning of the new oral commissure, proper myoplasty, and meticulous skin closure with minimal scar burden can be considered key procedures for successful transverse cleft repair.

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