Send to

Choose Destination
Mund Kiefer Gesichtschir. 2002 Mar;6(2):102-10.

[Is there new knowledge on embryology and functional anatomy of human mimetic muscles and the upper lip? A contribution to point selection, skin incision and muscle reconstruction in primary lip-nose reconstruction of uni- and bilateral lip-jaw-palatal clefts].

[Article in German]

Author information

Klinik und Poliklinik für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie/Plastische Operationen, Universitätsklinikum Greifswald, Sauerbruchstrasse, 17487 Greifswald.



The great variety of primary cheiloplastic procedures in CLP patients shows that there is disagreement regarding the embryological development of this part of the face, the point selection, skin incision philosophy, and the macroscopic and microscopic functional anatomy of the human muscles of facial expression. We suppose from findings in Asian and African populations that the real embryological development of the upper lip differs from current textbook descriptions. Our own anatomical and embryological investigations serve as a basis for a critical discussion of different techniques of muscle reconstruction, point selection, and skin incision and for a description of an embryologically, functionally, and anatomically oriented operation technique for different entities of CLP.


The findings of this study result from investigations of the embryonal and early fetal development from the 26th to the 112th i.u. day in REM pictures of the Anatomical Institute of the University of Göttingen (n = 8) and serial histological investigations of the Carnegie and Hooker-Humphrey Collections at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. (n = 40). Furthermore, we carried out microsurgical dissections of the muscles of facial expression, the osseous and cartilaginous parts of the nose, and the midfacial sutures in two adult heads without congenital disorders and one newborn head with a primary unilateral complete cleft of the lip and alveolus.


The formation of the lower third of the upper lip is the result of contact of the maxillary bulges in the midline below the prolabium. According to this finding, the point selections and skin incisions have to be modified in the midline region in different types of uni- and bilateral CLP. Our technique of primary dissection, reorientation, and suturing of the muscles of facial expression is presented. The muscle reconstruction has to be performed independently from the skin preparation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center