Tessier facial clefts are a series of severe facial clefts that involve more than just the lip and the upper jaw (as in a cleft lip and/or cleft palate). A Tessier cleft involves the mouth, cheeks, eyes, ears, and forehead and may continue on into the hairline. Tessier clefts often include malformations to important structures including the teeth, the tear ducts, eye orbits, and the base of the skull. A rare and unusual appearance may result from Tessier clefts, and surgery is critical for the individual to lead a normal life.
Surgical treatment for Tessier clefts varies. There are 14 different types of facial clefts identified and surgery depends on the type of cleft. For example, macrostomia is a form of Tessier type 7 facial cleft and may often be repaired at a very young age to improve the appearance of the lips and mouth. Treatment for most Tessier facial clefts usually involves a combination of soft tissue and bone repair often followed by orthognathic surgery or LeFort III Surgery or Facial Bipartition Surgery or Orbital Box Osteotomy surgery.