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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Nov;122(5):1485-93. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31818820bc.

Minor-form, microform, and mini-microform cleft lip: anatomical features, operative techniques, and revisions.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass, USA.



Whatever method of closure, a cleft lip scar extends along the full labial height. A smaller scar is possible in repair of limited forms of incomplete cleft lip. This retrospective study was undertaken to define the subgroups of lesser-form cleft lip, describe technical alternatives, and review results of repair.


The senior author's (J.B.M.) registry was searched for patients with lesser-form cleft lip, defined by the extent of vermilion-cutaneous dysjunction as either minor-form, microform, or mini-microform. Techniques for repair of these three anatomical variants were examined and the revisions were analyzed.


Of 393 patients with unilateral incomplete cleft lip, 59 lesser-form variants were identified. Minor-form clefts (n = 20), defined as a defect extending 3 mm or more above the normal Cupid's bow peak, were repaired by rotation-advancement. Microform clefts (n = 28), defined as a vermilion-cutaneous notch less than 3 mm above the normal peak, were corrected by double unilimb Z-plasty. Mini-microform clefts (n = 11), defined as a disrupted vermilion-cutaneous junction without elevation of the bow peak, were repaired by vertical lenticular excision. Primary nasal correction was necessary in all minor-form and microform types and in some mini-microform types. In all three lesser-forms, the rate of nasolabial revision was relatively low in comparison with that for unilateral complete cleft lip.


The extent of disruption at the vermilion-cutaneous junction defines minor-form, microform, and mini-microform cleft lip. These anatomical designations determine the method of nasolabial repair and correlate with types and frequency of revision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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