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Lip adhesion revisited: A technical note with review of literature

Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.59283
  • Original Article
  • Education
  • Medicine


Context (Background): Lip adhesion is a direct edge approximation without changing lip landmarks or disturbing tissue required for definitive closure. This converts a complete cleft into an incomplete cleft, facilitating and enhancing subsequent definitive lip and nose repair. Aim: The study aims to describe our technique of lip adhesion and its morbidity, and discuss the rationale for its use. Settings and Design: Retrospective follow-up study of complete clefts operated upon in the Bruges Cleft and Craniofacial Centre, at the supra regional teaching hospital AZ St. Jan, Bruges, between June 1, 1991 and May 1, 2009. Methods and Material: The group comprised 33 unilateral and 24 bilateral lip adhesion procedures. The medical files were reviewed for changes in surgical technique, morbidity, and complications and their treatment. Results: The lip adhesion procedure was performed at the age of two to eight weeks postnatal, and definitive lip closure, at the age of four to six months. In all cases, segment repositioning was further controlled by a palatal guidance plate. Wound dehiscence occurred in eight patients (14.0%), and three patients (5.3%) required reoperation. Conclusions: Although complications occurred, the beneficial effects of lip adhesion in combination with a guidance plate outweighed the risks for anatomical reconstruction of a platform for definitive lip and nose repair. Modifications are suggested to reduce these complications.

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