Surgeons use neck muscle, surrounding tissue as lip implant

Mar 15, 2010

Augmenting the lips with grafts of muscle and connective tissue from the neck appears to result in improved appearance for at least two years, according to a report in the March/April issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Since ancient times, women have used plant dyes and colored clays to enhance their lips," the authors write as background information in the article. As an individual ages, the groove on the upper lip flattens, the white lip lengthens and the amount of vermilion (pink tissue) that shows decreases. "These progressive age-related changes lead many patients to seek lip augmentation procedures, often as their main concern in the midst of an aging face and neck."

"The quest for the ideal permanent lip augmentation procedure has been fraught with challenges," they continue, including resorption, asymmetry, reactions, extrusion, an unnatural feel or appearance and the formation of . Anurag Agarwal, M.D., of The Aesthetic Surgery Center, Naples, Fla., and colleagues report on the results of 25 consecutive patients who underwent lip augmentation with segments of their own sternocleidomastoid, a muscle running along the side of the neck, and the that overlies it (fascia).

All patients had a minimum follow-up of one year. After an average of two years, the amount of vermilion showing increased by an average of 20 percent to 24 percent for the upper and lower lip. In addition, the average projection of the upper and lower lip increased by an average of 0.9 to 0.99 millimeters. The patients were subjectively pleased with the results, although one requested additional lip augmentation with an injectable gel.

The muscle and fascia can be removed during a concurrent face lift with few complications, the authors note, and are readily incorporated by the lip. There were no deformities in lip contour, limitations in head movement, or nerve injuries associated with the grafts.

"The postoperative recovery after sternocleidomastoid fascia and muscle grafts to the lips is straightforward," the authors write. "After the first month of lip swelling, the patient should expect that the lips will still be slightly swollen. The senior author's experience has been that approximately 75 percent of the immediate intraoperative lip fullness is maintained at one month post-operatively, while approximately 50 percent of the immediate intraoperative lip fullness is maintained at one year postoperatively." The surgeon must account for this decrease in the size of grafts initially implanted, they note.

"With careful patient selection and surgical technique, sternocleidomastoid muscle and fascia implantation is a valuable tool when treating the aging lip," the authors conclude.

Explore further: World's first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat skin disease psoriasis vulgaris

More information: Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2010;12[2]:97-102

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lip-read me now, hear me better later

Apr 12, 2007

Experience hearing a person's voice allows us to more easily hear what they are saying. Now research by UC Riverside psychology Professor Lawrence D. Rosenblum and graduate students Rachel M. Miller and Kauyumari Sanchez ...

Surgical technique helps to reanimate paralyzed faces

Jul 16, 2007

A surgical technique known as temporalis tendon transfer, in conjunction with intense physical therapy before and after surgery, may help reanimate the features of those with facial paralysis, according to a report in the ...

Folic acid cuts risk of cleft lip

Jan 26, 2007

Taking folic acid supplements in early pregnancy seems to substantially reduce the risk of cleft lip, finds a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Recommended for you

Motion capture examines dance techniques

Sep 29, 2014

WAAPA dance students are set to take part in a world-first biomechanical study that tracks their training, technique and injuries as they develop as professional performers.

User comments : 0