Objective: To investigate the effect of naso-labial scarring on the skeletal growth pattern of the maxillary complex. Materials and Methods: Eighty eight naturally delivered ICR-strain infant mice were divided into 5 groups based on the site of the scar. Each group was further divided into 3 subgroups according to the age of the animal at the time of surgery (1 day, 1 week, or 3 weeks). In group 1, the left upper lip was incised from the nostril floor to the vestibule using electrocautery. In group 2, the left upper lip and alveolus were incised from the nostril floor to the primary palate using scissors. In group 3, the nasal septum was released through the vestibule using a chisel. In group 4, the upper vestibule between the angles of the mouth was incised using electrocautery. In group 5, no wound was made in age-matched mice to act as a control group. The animals were weighed and killed at the age of 7 weeks, and standardised dorsoventral cephalograms were taken. Results: The scars of the lip and alveolus caused a decrease in the width of the anterior part of the maxilla, and surgery at 1 week caused a decrease in the anteroposterior length of the maxilla. Surgery to the nasal septum had a severe influence on growth. Surgery to the vestibule caused a decrease only in the maxillary length. Conclusion: Although the results cannot be extrapolated to humans, the study serves to flag the vestibular and septal surgery elements of cleft lip repair for further evaluation.
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