31 August 2016

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.

treatment lip injury

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.

treatment lip injury

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.

treatment lip injury

Figure 3

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

treatment lip injury

Figure 4

The ” triangulation ” of the defect of the patient in Figure 1, prior to repair.

treatment lip injury

Figure 5

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

treatment lip injury

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.

treatment lip injury

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!)

For more information please contact me at info@pclscoffsharbour.com.au

About The Author - Dr Chandran Arianayagam

Dr Chandran Arianayagam is an internationally trained Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Based in Coffs Harbour since January 1995, he has trained and worked in India, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. He brings 30 years of experience and expertise to the Mid-North Coast region.

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