AIM: Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a treatment option for patients with maxillary hypoplasia secondary to cleft lip and palate (CLP). PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to present a technique for maxillary DO using Le Fort I osteotomy with rigid external distraction (RED) system. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The patient presented in this paper was an Asian female with CLP aged 13 years and 6 months. She presented with severe midfacial deficiency with a Class III dental malocclusion with a negative overjet and concave facial profile. Cone-beam computed tomography images were recorded preoperatively and the operation performed involved a high Le Fort I osteotomy. The appliance fabricated was banded to upper first molars used for anchorage of the RED system. Distraction of the maxilla was initiated after 7-day latency period. RESULTS: Postoperative cephalometric analysis showed maxillary advancement anteriorly and superiorly, the total distraction treatment period was 10 days. The maxillary advancement was 10.5 mm and the SNA angle increased from 67.5° to 77.9°. Furthermore, the ANB angle changed from -9.8° to 1.6° and the occlusion changed from Class III to Class I. The profile of the face changed from concave to convex and a much better esthetic result was achieved. CONCLUSION: The study suggests RED system to be a reliable alternative procedure for the treatment of midfacial hypoplasia with or without cleft. Furthermore, it minimizes the risk of the surgical procedure and shortens the operating time.