J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg.  2008 Sep;35(5):574-580.

Reconstruction of Philtral Column with Overlapping of Orbicularis Oris Muscle Flap in Secondary Cleft Lip Nose Deformity

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. psyang@khmc.or.kr
  • 2Starline Plastic Surgery Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Art Plastic Surgery Clinic, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: Philtral deformity is a stigma of secondary cleft lip nose. It occurs from the false arrangement of orbicularis oris muscle and the scar of previous operation. Various methods have been used to correct this deformity. We successfully corrected philtral deformity using overlapping of orbicularis oris muscle flap.
From November 2000 to August 2007, we performed 39 cases of correction of philtral deformity in secondary cleft lip nose with overlapping of orbicularis oris muscle flap. Their age ranged from 5 to 53 years old. Existing scar tissue of previous operation was deepithelialized and preserved as scar flap. Lateral orbicularis oris muscle flap was elevated, advanced and overlapped upon medial muscle flap after dissection of orbicularis oris muscle of both sides. Reconstruction of philtral column was made from overlapping area by fixation of end part of lateral muscle flap to the point between philtral dimple and column. The degree of muscle flap advancement was decided by correction state of lateral muscle bulging. Correction of nostril floor depression or whistle deformity was also performed with preserved scar flap, if necessary.
Realignments of orbicularis oris muscle were possible in the majority of the patients and final results of philtral reconstruction were satisfactory mostly. Correction of nostril floor depression and whistle deformity was also achieved. Additional correction was performed later to 4 patients in whom insufficient reconstruction was noted. No significant complication was observed.
More natural and symmetric philtrum was acquired with overlapping of orbicularis oris muscle flap. To the authors' knowledge, it is an easy and effective method for correction of philtral deformity through anatomical rearrangement of distorted orbicularis oris muscle with relatively simple procedure.


Philtral reconstruction; Orbicularis oris muscle flap; Secondary cleft lip nose

MeSH Terms

Cleft Lip
Congenital Abnormalities
Floors and Floorcoverings
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