Cleft Nose Surgery

Dr. med. Axel Arlt

  • Specialist in Plastic Surgery
  • Specialist in ENT medicine

Nasal reconstruction for cleft lip and palate patients

Congenital facial defects, such as cleft lips, jaws, and palates, are usually very distressing for those affected. The ignorance of many people around them only adds to this (the colloquial term “harelip”, for example).

This condition is frequently associated with characteristic external and internal deformations of the nose, (also called cleft nose deformities) as well, meaning it is typically associated with significantly impaired nasal breathing.

On the one hand, therefore, the purpose of this surgery is to correct visible defects and give the patient a “normal” appearance to the greatest possible extent; on the other hand, it is also about improving nasal breathing function as part of the same operation.

Operations to close cleft lips, palates and jaws do not correct the deformity of the nose; doing this requires a special operation. 

Correcting this characteristic cleft nose deformity requires a number of different reconstructive surgical techniques. Among other reasons, such procedures are challenging because they require surgeons to understand cleft nose operations as well as aesthetic and functional nasal surgery. 

Certainly not all surgeons who perform cleft palate closures have such comprehensive training and experience, which is why it is sensible to have the cleft nose procedure performed by a nasal specialist. 

Cleft nose deformities pose a unique challenge to nasal surgeons, especially in post-pubescent and adult patients. The cartilaginous and bony structures of the nose are often severely deformed as a result of asymmetrical and sometimes incomplete growth, and the base of the nose is crooked due to the cleft in the palate bones.

Therefore, most of these corrective procedures involve completely reshaping the nose, often by (re-)constructing underdeveloped sections of alar cartilage and stabilizing them through cartilage transplants. 

We can perform corrective rhinoplastic and septoplastic operations without needing nasal packing. 

 This is possible thanks to our “chondroplastic” nasal surgical technique that we use (sophisticated reshaping of the nasal cartilage, rather than resection). Used in combination with certain special internal stitches, this surgical method offers far superior stabilization during the post-operative healing phase.

On top of that, this procedure is also much more pleasant, because not needing nasal packing means we can save our patients the associated pain and thus make the post-operative period a great deal easier for them. 

Also pleasant: our internal stitches are self-resorbing and do not need to be taken out. 

Click here for more information related to corrective nasal surgery without nasal packing.

Proper medical treatment requires solid knowledge and extensive experience. Optimum treatment processes also require sufficient time.

And we take that time for you. Our practice in Hamburg always schedules generous amounts of time in for each treatment, so that we can ensure that we are not under time pressure with any of our patients.

This is one reason why our consultations are divided up into two separate appointments. In your first appointment, we will discuss your wishes, and talk you about possible treatments and their limitations.

Should you decide to undergo surgery/treatment, we will go over the essentials with you again during the second consultation (also called the surgery planning meeting). Our surgical and anesthesia teams will help you prepare for surgery in order to ensure your safety.

After treatment, our experienced surgical team or night team will personally take care of you. You will receive important information and patient guides on post-surgical care, and we will work with you directly to set up additional examination or treatment appointments.

Dr. Arlt has two medical specialist qualifications: one as a plastic surgeon; the other as an otolaryngologist additionally specialized in cosmetic operations, special head and neck surgeries, and allergology. His Hamburg-based practice is specialized exclusively in the face. 

His personal specialties are nasal surgery (functional and aesthetic) and secondary rhinoplasty (revisions and follow-up procedures on patients who have previously undergone surgery), 

So we perform an accordingly large number of corrective nasal procedures at our practice in Hamburg. More than half of the procedures we perform are revisions on patients who have already undergone surgery elsewhere. 

First-time nasal operations (primary rhinoplasty) should/must combine functional and aesthetic corrections into one procedure. Follow-up nasal operations (secondary rhinoplasty) involve special surgical techniques, and thus require a reconstructive nasal surgeon with particular experience in this area. Corrective rhinoplasty is a job for specialists. Dr. Arlt’s specialist certifications in both plastic surgery and ENT medicine lay a perfect foundation for this specialization; his more than 25 years of experience and mastery of modern, structure-preserving surgical techniques round out the package. 

Click here for more information related to primary corrective rhinoplasty.

Click here for more information related to secondary (revision) rhinoplasty.


Dr. Axel Arlt
Practice community

Esplanade 31 / Ecke Stephansplatz
D - 20354 Hamburg