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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997 Aug;100(2):422-30.

Reconstruction of defects of the entire vermilion with a buccal musculomucosal flap following resection of malignant tumors of the lower lip.

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Department of Dermatology, Fukushima Medical College, Japan.


We reconstructed a defect of nearly the entire lower vermilion using a buccal musculomucosal flap following resection of a malignant tumor of the lower lip and obtained satisfactory results. The buccal musculomucosal flap was semi-spindle shaped and pedicled at the angle of the mouth. A flap measuring as much as 1.5 cm in width and 5 cm in length could be raised while ensuring that fibers of the buccinator muscle extended over its entire length. Using this technique, it was possible to reconstruct a wide defect following tumor resection and removal of almost the entire lower vermilion by means of only a transposition of a unilateral buccal musculomucosal flap after about one-quarter of the lower lip had been excised and sutured primarily. Reconstruction with this technique is a two-stage operation, and a secondary minor touch-up operation is performed on the angle of the mouth at the same time as repair of the dog-ear of the pedicle. Advantages of this technique are that food can be taken orally soon after the operation, hemodynamics in the flap are maintained stably because the flap contains fibers of the buccinator muscle, and the vermilion is given a natural eminence. In addition, postoperative drooling is minimized, and sensation returns to the vermilion within the early postoperative period. Based on these advantages, we think our technique should be the first choice for carrying out reconstruction of defects that are located mainly in the lower lip vermilion because this is a safe and reliable method with which we performed 12 cases of vermilion reconstruction without flap necrosis and with satisfactory aesthetic and functional results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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