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Direct primary closure without undermining in the repair of vermilionectomy defects of the lower lip

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Langtry


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Background Vermilionectomy is an excisional technique for the treatment of lower lip squamous cell carcinoma and actinic cheilitis. The vermilionectomy defect is usually repaired by a labial mucosal advancement flap. Traditionally, the mucosal wound margins are widely undermined but this can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity.Objectives We describe our experience with a modified technique whereby lower lip vermilionectomy defects were repaired by direct primary closure without undermining and present the subsequent cosmetic, functional and sensory results.Methods and materials This is a retrospective case series of 21 patients who underwent vermilionectomy repair by direct closure without undermining. Combined data regarding the presence of any postoperative sensory, functional or cosmetic disturbance are presented.Results Complete data were available for 17 patients. Minimal sensory disturbance was noted in 10.5% of our patients 6 months postoperatively, which is less than previous studies. Similarly, labial scar tension was less frequent in our series; 94% of the patients were satisfied with cosmesis.Conclusions Direct closure without undermining is a simple, reproducible technique for repair of lower lip vermilionectomy defects and leads to excellent cosmetic, functional and sensory results in the majority of patients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barry RBM, McKenzie J, Berg D, Langtry JAA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Dermatology

Year: 2012

Volume: 167

Issue: 5

Pages: 1092-1097

Print publication date: 29/10/2012

ISSN (print): 0007-0963

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2133

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11104.x


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