The Treatment of Untidy Lip Injuries

Lip injuries usually look worse than they are!

Careful assessment and analysis of the injury, followed by meticulous repair techniques give good results.

While “sharp” or “clean” injuries are easy to repair, this is not so when there is an “untidy” wound of the mucosa.  It is necessary to “triangulate” the defect, converting the “untidy ” injury into a tidy” one before repair.

A “burst” injury  looks a lot worse than it actually is, as there is little tissue loss and  meticulous repair usually gives good results.


  Figure 1

17 year old girl three weeks after repair of a left upper lip dog bite injury.
This is an an excellent result and would have got better with tissue maturation over the next few months.



Figure 2

A similar injury in a 20 year old male, two years after repair, showing a poor result due to an unsatisfactory technique of repair.




Figure 3

The dog bite to the left upper lip of the patient in Figure 1.




Figure 4

The ” triangulation ” of the defect of the patient in Figure 1, prior to repair.fig5-768x576



Figure 5

The same patient in figure 2, after “triangulation” and a three layer repair.fig6a





Figure 6

A ” burst ” injury in a 15 year old boy who cycled into the back of a bus,  with minimal tissue loss but a major disruption of the anatomy of the lip.fig7a





Figure 7

The patient at six months, after a meticulous and patient ”Toilet and repair !“
(Note capital “T “and small case “r”, emphasising the relative importance of the two components of the repair!)

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