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The Innervated Gracilis Muscle for Microsurgical Functional Lip Reconstruction

Review of the Literature

Sacak, Bulent MD*; Gurunluoglu, Raffi MD, PhD, FACS

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182920c99
Peripheral Nerve Surgery and Research
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Reconstruction of the lower and upper lip should meet both aesthetic and functional requirements, whenever possible. Achievement of these goals presents a major challenge particularly in extensive lip defects requiring microsurgical reconstruction. Successful reconstructive outcomes have been reported using free fasciocutaneous flaps such as composite radial forearm flap or anterolateral thigh flap in conjunction with static tendon slings. In recent years, neurovascular gracilis muscle transfer has been introduced in hopes to overcome noncontractile properties of these flaps and to restore oral competence by muscle contractility. This article reviews the available data on the innervated gracilis muscle transfer for functional lip reconstruction. Tips and techniques gleaned from all of the current literature are discussed.

From the *Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Marmara University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey; and †Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO.

Received December 4, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, March 12, 2013.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Raffi Gurunluoglu, MD, PhD, FACS, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 777 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204. E-mail: raffi.gurunluoglu@dhha.org.

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