Unblocking the nose by unplugging the ear: The use of foam ear defenders as a splint following secondary cleft rhinoplasty
Objective: The functional and aesthetic result from secondary cleft rhinoplasty is commonly impaired by a bulge in the lateral nasal vestibule, which can relapse in the postoperative period despite careful intraoperative correction. We aim to Improve our results by using a foam ear defender as a postoperative splint to prevent relapse. Design: Case series of 10 patients with photographs of a typical clinical case. Interventions: The postoperative nasal pack was exchanged with a foam ear defender on day 5. The splint was worn continuously for 3 to 4 weeks, then nightly for 3 months. The splint was changed daily by the patient. Main Outcome Measures: The results were assessed clinically by the senior author. Results: The patients had little or no recurrence of the lateral vestibular bulge following nasal splintage. Conclusions: Foam ear defenders are a simple, cheap, and comfortable method to provide splintage to the nasal vestibule following secondary cleft rhinoplasty.