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A Journal on Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Maxillofacial Surgery




Italian Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery 2014 December;25(2-3):69-73

language: English

Cancer of the upper lip: combined reconstructive strategies. Review of the literature and case report

Elia G., Clauser L. C.

Unit of Cranio Maxillo Facial Surgery, Reference Center for Cranio-Facial Rare Anomalies, European Association for Cranio Maxillofacial Surgery, International Teaching Center Network, St. Anna Hospital and University, Ferrara, Italy


Carcinoma of the upper lip is less frequent than that of the lower lip and affects both sexes in equal proportion. From a histological point of view mainly basal cell carcinomas are found, which originate in 50% of cases from the skin and adnexae. The authors describe a major defect of the upper lip after resection for carcinoma. Reconstruction was performed with resection and rotation of the lower lip according to Estlander. A deformity remained which was corrected with a lipostructure procedure. These techniques have yielded a good aesthetic and functional result maintaining the symmetry of the oral commissure. A clinical case is reported in which the resection and reconstruction according to Estlander were followed by volumetric restoration with lipostructure. The case refers to the excision of a basocellular carcinoma of the lateral third of the upper lip with involvement of the inside mucous membrane. A full-thickness resection and reconstruction with an Estlander flap were performed. Subsequently lipostructure of the perioral area completed the upper lip reconstruction.

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