Repair of Scars and Tissue Deficiency With Free Grafts of Full-thickness Scalp in Secondary Unilateral Cleft Lip Deformity

J Craniofac Surg. 2023 Jul-Aug;34(5):1435-1438. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009339. Epub 2023 May 5.


Although surgical techniques have developed, the incidence of secondary cleft lip deformities after the primary repair is still high. Asymmetry of Cupid's bow and philtrum is a common presentation and a technical challenge to reconstruct the upper lip. The authors introduce a technique to use the free grafts of the full-thickness scalp for the correction of scars and tissue deficiency in secondary unilateral cleft lip deformity. Thirty-seven patients with a prominent scar, tight upper lip, deformed Cupid's bow and philtrum, and irregular vermillion border were included in this study. The specific points of interest were assessed before and after surgery by independent examiners with both subjective and objective methods. All surgeries were successfully completed, and the assessment results were satisfactory. The rating scores of philtrum improvement was 1.6±0.4, the POSAS result of patient scales was 13.48±3.21, and the observer scale result was 11.98±3.88. The asymmetry of Cupid's bow was corrected ( P =0.004), the central tubercle of vermilion was more natural ( P =0.001), and the irregular vermillion border was improved ( P =0.015). The results presented significant differences before and after surgery. This method could be an optional treatment for repairing scars and tissue deficiency in secondary unilateral cleft lip deformity.

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cicatrix / surgery
  • Cleft Lip* / pathology
  • Cleft Lip* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Lip / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Scalp / surgery