ABSTRACT A median cleft lip is a rare central midline deficiency of the upper lip. Multiple surgical techniques are described in the literature to address this defect, though there is little consensus on the preferred surgical technique. We describe an intra-oral approach for repair of the median upper lip cleft using mucosal Z-plasty. This technique provides excellent access to the attenuated orbicularis oris muscle and the frenulum fibrosed to the labial margin. The tethered lip can be mobilized and the notch converted with appropriate mucosal length, lip height, and vermillion fullness. The contour of the free labial border immediately improves, all while avoiding a cutaneous scar. The midline cleft lip notch can be effectively treated by adhering to 3 major principles: 1) excision of the tight, constrictive labial band; 2) achieving midline orbicularis oris muscle approximation; and 3) establishing mucosal lengthening using a Z-plasty.
Cite this paper
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