Camouflaging Cleft Lip Scar Using Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplantation Combined with Autologous Fat Grafting

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Abstract

Background:

The scar that occurs after cleft lip surgery poses a serious cosmetic problem. One of the methods used to solve this problem in adult male patients is hair transplantation. However, satisfactory results with this method cannot always be achieved because of possible graft loss. The corrective feature of fat grafting has been reported in many studies. The authors’ aim with this report is to share their results with hair transplantation combined with fat grafting in patients with cleft lip.

Methods:

This study included 20 patients who had both a scar and alopecia in the cleft lip area. The patients underwent fat grafting from the periumbilical region by means of miniature liposuction harvesting cannulas. Three months after fat injection, hair transplantation was performed with hair from the submental area and scalp using the folliculate unit extraction technique. Patients were followed for 12 months. Survival rate of transplanted hair and patient satisfaction were analyzed after the procedures.

Results:

After this camouflaging technique with fat grafting and hair transplantation, the scar was hidden quite well. The graft survival rate was also better compared with results from similar studies. Patient and observer satisfaction results with the scar tissue were significantly improved, which was confirmed statistically.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates that this combined camouflaging technique is a very effective treatment in male patients with cleft lip who have serious secondary upper lip scars. The authors present a series of patients treated with this technique, which resulted in a high level of patient satisfaction.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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