Assessing Surgical Outcomes via Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis in Cleft Rhinoplasty
Heow Pueh Lee
Cleft rhinoplasty is a challenging procedure with variable success in different techniques. To improve surgical outcomes, an objective comparison of techniques is required. This study utilizes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) on pre- and post-operative nasal cavity finite element models to objectively assess the success of cleft rhinoplasty performed on a patient with congenital cleft nasal deformity. Airflow, pressure drop, velocity, and their associated post-operative changes were calculated with an emphasis on the obstructed area. This revealed increased symmetry between the left and right cavities in all parameters post-operatively suggesting good surgical outcome. Focusing on the obstruction site and analyzing the absolute parametric values, instead of observing obscure, subjective flow lines, allowed for an efficient and objective comparison between models. By extending this quantitative comparison via CFD for different cleft lip/palate (CL/P) cases, and observing the relative success of each procedure, a basis for guidelines for CL/P correction could be formed, which could dramatically improve surgical outcomes.