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In this study the authors evaluate and quantify the residual bony defect in the mandibular
symphysis and its effect on the soft tissue contour a minimum of 1 year after harvesting
chin bone. 59 ASA I cleft lip and palate patients, aged 8-19 years were included.
In all patients an autologous bone graft from the mandibular symphysis was harvested
for transplantation to the alveolar cleft. Lateral cephalograms were used to measure
the donor site defects, and the effects on the soft tissue contour. An evident residual
defect was measured at the donor site 1 year after harvesting chin bone. A significant
relation was seen between age at time of surgery and size of the defect 1 year postoperatively.
In older patients a larger defect remained. Using the current surgical technique of
harvesting chin bone, complete bony repair of the defect was not achieved. This study
shows postoperatively persisting defects that comprise on average 14% of the original
peroperative defects. A significant increase in soft tissue thickness was seen at
the mandibular symphysis at a minimum of 1 year postoperatively. These changes in
the soft tissue chin contour 1 year after harvesting bone are similar to normal growth