The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) began collecting data from unilateral cleft lip (UCL) corrections in 2011 as a component of the continuous certification process. We evaluated these data to understand practice patterns in UCL repair, in the United States, and whether these practice patterns had changed over the past 9 years.
Tracer data for UCL correction were reviewed from its inception in October 2011 through 2016 and compared to UCL cases between 2017 and March 2020. Trends in practice patterns were evaluated against literature reviews meant to coincide with the ABPS continuous certification data.
A total of 520 cases were included from October 2011 to March 2020. Median age of UCL repair was 4 months and 66% of patients were male. Fifty-one percent of cases presented with a complete cleft lip. There was a decrease in postoperative adverse events when data from 2011 to 2016 was compared to 2017 to 2019 (P = 0.020). Revisions were the most common postoperative adverse event (2%). There was a decrease in nasoalveolar molding from 25% to 12% (P < 0.001) and 56% of total cases underwent a concurrent primary cleft rhinoplasty. The rate of gingivoperiosteoplasty at the time of primary cleft lip repair also fell (9% versus 1%; P < 0.001).
This article reviews tracer data obtained by the ABPS for UCL repair. The American Board of Plastic Surgery tracer data provides a national, cleft lip-specific database with longer follow-up times than other large databases.

Copyright © 2021 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.