Muscle Tension Line Groups Reconstruction in Bilateral Cleft Lip Repair

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Bilateral cleft lip is considered to be the most difficult cleft lip to repair. More and more surgeries are concerned about the reconstruction of orbicularis muscle and the pursuit of philtrum shaping in bilateral cleft lip repair, but most have little success. Years of study on the orbicularis muscle of children with cleft lip resulted in authors’ creation of muscle tension line groups theory. Through implementation of this theory, the authors have achieved favorable results in microform cleft lip repair. The authors also applied this concept to bilateral cleft lip repair.


Between January 2010 and December 2014, 31 children with bilateral cleft lip received operations in authors’ department, and underwent muscle tension line group reconstruction in accordance with the theory of muscle tension line groups. Two third-party doctors judged postoperative results using a 3-point visual analogue scale.


Twenty-two of the 31 children completed a follow-up 6 months to 1 year after surgery. Most postoperative and follow-up results were satisfactory.


Fully reconstructed muscle tension line groups can not only assist with close fractures, but, for example, also help adduct the nasal alar, and elevate the nasal floor. Furthermore, the surgery can be used to reconstruct the 3-dimensional structure of the philtrum. Ultimately, surgical application of the muscle tension line groups theory proved its feasibility and potential for further development.

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