Unilateral Cleft Lip Repair Workup

Updated: Jul 05, 2022
  • Author: Pravin K Patel, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Jorge I de la Torre, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print

Approach Considerations

Perform a thorough physical examination, not limited to the head and neck region, to uncover associated anomalies in the infant presenting with a unilateral cleft lip with or without a palatal cleft. Additional workup is determined by physical findings that suggest involvement of other organ systems.

The child's weight, oral intake, and growth and/or development are of primary concern and must be followed closely. Routine laboratory studies typically are not required, other than a hemoglobin study shortly before the planned lip repair.

Although routine imaging is considered to be unnecessary in a healthy patient with isolated cleft lip, a study by Tse et al demonstrated the efficacy of three-dimensional (3D) stereophotogrammetry for anthropometric evaluation of the unilateral cleft lip in preoperative planning, to better assess outcomes in the nasolabial form. [15]  A study by Mercan et al also demonstrated the usefulness of preoperative 3D stereophotogrammetry in predicting postoperative outcomes, in patients with unilateral cleft lip nasal deformity. [16]