Surgical repair alone cannot correct the multiple problems encountered with the deformities that result from clefts of the lip and palate. Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is a pre-surgical treatment to improve the results of surgical repair for cleft lip, cleft palate, and nose projection in the newborn.
The NAM process actually expands tissues prior to surgery. An acrylic orthopedic appliance is used by Dr. Calkins to approximate the cleft and mold the nose, reducing the amount of surgical correction required during treatment. As a result, in the majority of cases children only need one surgery as opposed to two surgeries under general anesthesia to repair cleft lip and palate.
Cleft lip and palate often leave the middle part of the nose and the nasal cartilage deformed. Surgery alone is often not enough to provide an aesthetically acceptable correction. The NAM technique takes advantage of the malleability of immature cartilage of the nose and the ability to non-surgically construct the columella (middle part of the nose) through the application of tissue expansion. By the addition of a nasal portion to the molding plate, Dr. Calkins can often correct the nasal tip, the base on the affected side, as well as the position of the philtrum and columella.
For more information on nasoalveolar molding, please schedule a consultation.
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