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A computer-based system of assessing asymmetry was used to compare standardised photographs of primarily corrected cleft noses, uncorrected cleft noses and control (normal) noses. A significant difference was found between control and cleft groups for both upper nasal perimeter (p < 0.001) and nostril outline (p = 0.001), and between uncorrected and corrected noses for upper nasal perimeter (p = 0.03) but not for nostril outline (p = 0.99).
Comparing the results achieved by panel assessment (Cussonset al., 1992) with this of the same patients revealed some discordance related to the influence of extraneous factors on panel decisions.
Panel assessment is needed in the evaluation of overall appearance, whilst the computer method is able to assess the results of different techniques, and from different centres, on specific features where symmetry is a major objective of surgical technique.
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Accepted: January 13, 1992
Received: October 15, 1991
© 1993 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc.