Due to cleft lip and palate, the affected children often have depressed nostrils which greatly affect the appearance of the patient. Though correction can be achieved via rhinoplasty surgery, it would ideally be performed after puberty because early surgery may hinder nasal growth.
Considering that before surgical revision, i.e. between 0-17 years of age, patients may feel bad for their flat and asymmetric nostril(s), HKACLP launched “Nasal splints for Everyone” project providing for the members nasal splints follow-up service to help improve the shapes of their noses.
In this project, nasal splints are issued and followed up by Mr. Patrick Bok (former United Christian Hospital maxillofacial prosthetic technician) of Bok’s Maxillofacial Laboratory, who explains the application of nasal splints and will also tailor appropriate sizes of nasal splints for children as they grow up.
Recently, we have noticed that some children having broad columellae cannot wear standard nasal splints; some patients of unilateral cleft lip do not require to apply double-tube nasal splints; and after recovering from rhinoplasty, adult patients still need to wear nasal splints to maintain the shapes of their noses. In view of these, four new types of nasal splints are introduced. At present, the following nasal splints are provided :
- STANDARD Nasal Splints: For children of 3 months and above who have received lip repair. There are 2 holes on the base plate of the nasal splints which are used to fit an elastic band (see photo). The advantages of it are: (1) avoid problem arising from sensitive skin that may be caused by adhesive tape which is used to keep the nasal splints in place; (2) easier fitting; (3) nasal splints are not easily lost.
- WIDE BRIDGE Nasal Splints: For children of 3 months+ after lip repair who have broad columella and cannot wear standard nasal splints. Wide bridge nasal splints will help giving them an early support for shaping their nostrils.
- SINGLE TUBE Nasal Splints: Designed for unilateral cleft lip & palate children with frequent runny nose or nasal congestion so as to give them comfort fitting.
- INVISIBLE Nasal Splints: It is designed to help maintain the nasal shape for youth and adult patients after rhinoplasty. As there will be some loss of correction after the nasal surgery, invisible nasal splints will help patients’ noses look more symmetrical when the splints are worn during the day at work or at school.
- “-1-TYPE STANDARD Nasal Splints”: The smallest model available currently, designed specifically for newborn child patients with incomplete cleft lip and normal nasal passage
The above five types of nasal splints help molding and maintaining the shape of nose for patients from infant to adult.
The service was sponsored by China Light & Power Co. Ltd. between April 2007 and March 2013. Now HKACLP is seeking for funding to support the service.