BACKGROUND : It is debatable whether rhinoplasty is necessary during a primary operation for cleft lip. However, many surgeons believe that rhinoplasty should be performed simultaneously for severe deformities. We investigated whether alveolar cleft severity is involved in nasal deformity. METHODS : Forty-three patients were assessed for alveolar cleft severity using maxillary plaster models prepared during primary cheiloplasty. We conducted morphological assessments of nasal deformities using three-dimensional photogrammetry. Patients were divided into two groups according to alveolar cleft severity: group A, overlap of the alveolar segments; group B, nonoverlap of the alveolar segments. Nasal asymmetry was assessed by measuring distances between landmarks around the nostrils and the columellar angle. These measurements were compared between the groups. The correlations between the columellar angle and the ratios of the five cleft side/non-cleft side distances and the correlation of each ratio were analyzed. RESULTS : Groups A and B included 21 and 22 patients, respectively. Group A demonstrated superior deviation of the alar base on the non-cleft side than that of the alar base on the cleft side (p < 0.05). No other statistically significant differences were observed. Group A had more severe nasal deformity. Columellar angle and nostril base width demonstrated correlation. CONCLUSIONS : In an uncorrected, unoperated unilateral cleft lip nasal deformity, alar base deformity is affected by deformity of the alveolar segments.