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Cleft Lip Nasal Surgery

Information on cleft lip nasal surgery in Louisville Kentucky. Learn about rhinoplasty procedures, recovery, healing process, cost, insurance coverage, candidates, results and more.

Individuals born with a cleft lip also have an associated characteristic nasal deformity. Cleft lip nasal deformity has lack of development of some elements of the nose and displacement of other parts of the nasal anatomy. The cartilage giving shape to the tip of the nose is usually underdeveloped, flattened with less projection, and positioned lower than the tip cartilage on the non-cleft side. The nostril shape and width are different. The septum is deviated toward the non-cleft side. One consequence of these cleft lip nasal deformities is nasal airway obstruction. Another consequence may be an appearance that lacks symmetry and displays a characteristic appearance in the nose that may remain a reminder of the cleft lip, even after the best of cleft lip surgical repair.

Cleft Lip Nasal Surgery is done to improve the appearance of the nose and the ability to breathe through the nose. Because the surgery is reconstruction of a birth deformity and improves the nasal airway, it is usually covered by insurance plans. Some correction may be possible at the time of the initial cleft lip repair, but additional reconstruction or revision may be required when nasal maturity of adult proportions has been completed in the mid-teen years.

Nasal aesthetics are central in our appreciation and the attractiveness of the face. The balance of elements of the nose from any point of view affects the overall balance and aesthetics of the entire face. Understanding nasal aesthetics and the interdependence with the rest of the face is as important as the technical skill and experience required to perform this elegant and complex operation.

Rhinoplasty is generally considered among the most difficult and challenging procedures in plastic surgery because small changes can have important consequences in the appearance or airway function. Cleft lip nasal surgical correction requires additional experience and skills beyond that of basic cosmetic rhinoplasty techniques. Dr. Weeter has been caring for patients with cleft lip and palate throughout his career in plastic surgery. He leads a cleft lip and palate team in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also been a team leader for volunteer medical groups going to Central and South America to care for patients with these conditions and to teach local surgeons these specialized skills. He has been a member of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.

Dr. Weeter begins with a thorough consultation to understand the patient's goals and carefully evaluates size and shape of the various nasal elements, the overlying skin, the internal airway, and the relationship to other facial features. Planning and surgical precision are of critical importance. Dr. Weeter's goal is to achieve as natural a result as possible.


  • A patient who has had a single (unilateral) or double (bilateral) cleft lip.

  • A patient with one or more family members who have had a cleft lip and also has asymmetry of the nose.

  • A cleft patient whose nose is cosmetically unattractive or does not have a pleasing balance with other facial features.

  • Overly prominent elements of the nose or underdeveloped parts of the nose.

  • A patient whose nose is crooked, too wide, long, excessively projecting, or flat.

  • A cleft patient whose nasal septum (the cartilage separating the right and left internal nasal passages) is deviated and causes nasal airway obstruction. Correction of a deviated septum alone is called a septoplasty or submucous resection of the septum (SMR). A crooked nose may worsen this disorder and therefore, require correction at the same time. This surgery is called a rhinoseptoplasty. Turbinates are parts of the nose that help to add moisture and filter inspired air. These structures can be enlarged for many reasons and contribute to airway obstruction. When this occurs, Dr. Weeter will recommend their removal as part of the nasal surgery. Other problems, such as narrowed passages and airway "collapse", may require placement of cartilage grafts for structural support. Occasionally, scar tissue within the nose from previous injury or surgery may block airflow and require correction.


When reconstructive nasal surgery is done to restore normal airway function or appearance, insurance benefits may cover some of the costs associated with these surgical procedures. Dr. Weeter's office will assist in obtaining pre-authorization from your insurance company.


  • Improved symmetry of the nose with proper balance of the nasal elements.
  • Correction of breathing difficulties caused by fixed anatomical obstruction.
  • A more attractive nasal shape with the nose in better proportion to other facial features.
  • Maintenance of the patient's individuality.
  • Realistically, there are limitations in achieving the final goal and the ultimate outcome will vary from patient to patient due to the characteristics of the individual's skin, cartilage, and bone.


  • Chin augmentation with a small synthetic implant may help create better facial harmony and an improved profile for some patients.
  • Revision of the cleft lip repair scar or surgery to achieve better symmetry or balance of the lip with other facial features.

NOTE: The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for you may be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.

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Information on cleft lip nasal surgery in Louisville Kentucky. Learn about rhinoplasty procedures, recovery, healing process, cost, insurance coverage, candidates, results and more.

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