Background and purpose: Teaching cleft repair in the operating room may not sufficiently prepare craniofacial residents to perform the procedure self-reliantly. This study aimed to assess the influence of surgeons’ experience level on the operative time and graft survival ratio after alveolar bone grafts for cleft repair. Subjects and methods: This was a retrospective review of 100 consecutive alveolar bone graft patients treated for unilateral alveolar cleft by one craniofacial surgeon between 2012 and 2019. An alveolar bone graft from the iliac bone was performed using the lateral sliding flap. Sex, age, cleft width, cleft defect volume, and operative time were recorded, and the 1-year postoperative graft survival ratio was calculated. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify factors that affect the operative time and survival ratio. Results: Factors affecting the operative time were the experience level of the surgeon and the presence of a cleft palate. Factors affecting the graft survival ratio were the cleft defect volume and experience level of the surgeon. In cleft lip and alveolus, the survival ratio was constant, and the operative time stabilised after approximately 20 cases. In cleft lip and palate, more experience was required to master the technique, and the operative time and survival ratio were stabilised only after approximately 40 cases. Conclusion: Surgeons’ experience level influenced the outcomes of alveolar bone grafting. Although surgical training is currently undergoing a paradigm shift from on-the-job training to simulation-based training, clinical experience is critical to be self-sufficient.
|Journal||Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|
- Alveolar bone grafting
- Alveolar cleft
- C left lip, cleft palate
- Learning curve
ASJC Scopus subject areas