Surgical Treatment of the Senile Upper Lip

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Abstract

Aesthetic changes in the aging upper lip constitute a troublesome problem for modern women. During the process of aging, the following alterations appear in the upper lip: (1) vertical wrinkles, (2) reduction in height of the vermilion border along with lengthening of the skin area of the lip, and (3) “disappearance” of the Cupid's bow.

In 1993, Guerrissi and Sanchez described a surgical technique that allowed them to correct the effects of these senile changes in 19 patients. With the use of this surgical technique, a strip of skin on the vermilion border was deepithelialized. The remaining dermal flap was buried in the pocket, which was performed by undermining the superior third of the skin of the upper lip. The short-term results were satisfactory, although a slight reduction in height of the vermilion border and a decrease in the thickness of the lip were observed in five patients (26 percent) 4 years postoperatively.

Beginning in 1994, the authors began using a new approach combining dermal flap reshaping with simultaneous lip augmentation using dermal-fat grafts, Gore-Tex (W. L. Gore and Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz.) or AlloDerm (LifeCell Corp., Branchburg, N.J.). No serious or definitive complications were observed. Scars on the vermilion border were not conspicuous. A peel was necessary at the same time for complete elimination of rhytids. With this method, both the patients and the surgeons were satisfied with the results. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 106: 938, 2000.)

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