Anterior maxillary segmental distraction (AMSD) is an effective surgical procedure in the treatment of maxillary hypoplasia secondary to cleft lip and palate. Its unique advantage of preserving velopharyngeal function makes this procedure widely applied. In this study, the application of AMSD was described and its long-term stability was explored. Eight patients with severe maxillary hypoplasia secondary to CLP were included in this study. They were treated with AMSD using rigid external distraction (RED) device. Cephalometric analysis was performed twice at three time points for evaluation: before surgery (T1), after distraction (T2), and 2 years after treatment (T3). One-way analysis of variance was used to assess the differences statistically. All the distractions completed smoothly, and maxilla was distracted efficiently. The value of SNA, NA-FH, Ptm-A, U1-PP, overjet and PP (ANS-PNS) increased significantly after the AMSD procedure (P < 0.05), with the mean overjet increased by 14.28 mm. However, comparison of cephalometric analysis between T2 and T3 showed no significant difference (P > 0.05). Changes of palatopharyngeal depth and soft palatal length were insignificant. AMSD with RED device provided an effective way to correct maxillary hypoplasia secondary to CLP, extended the palatal and arch length, avoided damage on velopharyngeal closure function and reduced the relapse rate. It is a promising and valuable technique in this potentially complicated procedure.