BACKGROUND: The lips have an asethetic and functional importance. There are various types of lip defects, and these are mainly due to tumor excision. Although there are numerous techniques available to repair the lips, no universal reconstruction method is presently available, and reconstruction of lip defects are inherently difficult. OBJECTIVE: To report surgical reconstruction results of lip defects. METHOD: Our study involved eleven patients, who had visited our dermatologic surgery clinic between 1995 and 2003, and had been histopathologically diagnosed as having either a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma on the lips. The medical records were reviewed, and clinical features, surgical methods, and cosmetic and functional results were evaluated. RESULTS: Wedge resection, resection with W-plasty, the subcutaneous pedicle flap, and dual mucosal flap technique were used to repair lip defects surgically. The vermilion border was aligned well in all the patients, and a post-operative scar was not apparent. However, a microstomia developed in one patient. CONCLUSION: The dermatologic surgeon should be familiar with various reconstruction options for lip defects. An appropriate choice depends on the size, location and depth of the defect. Specific functional and aesthetic aspects of the lips should be taken into account when planning and performing an operation.
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