Superior labial artery and vein anastomosis configuration to be considered in lip augmentation

Masahito Yamamoto, Hsiu Kuo Chen, Hirouchi Hidetomo, Akira Watanabe, Koji Sakiyama, Hee Jin Kim, Gen Murakami, José Francisco Rodríguez-Vázquez, Shinichi Abe

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The treatment of cleft lip and palate is performed over a long period, starting immediately after birth. However, esthetic problems remain after lip augmentation. Endothelial cells of new capillaries are important for wound healing. Thus, the reconstruction of vascular networks is key to postoperative wound healing during lip augmentation. However, studies describing the superior labial artery (SLA) and superior labial vein (SLV) are rare, and their mutual positional relationship thus remains unclear. We procured 29 adult cadavers and ten fetuses. Macroscopic and histological examinations were performed on adult cadavers. We extracted soft tissues and blood vessels after micro-computed tomography (CT) and 3D tissue reconstruction. We performed histological investigations of vascular networks within the cleft lip in fetal samples. In adults, the SLV was distributed throughout the cutaneous side of the orbicularis oris muscle and the SLA, throughout the mucosal side. The SLV and SLA were separated by this muscle. Micro-CT images revealed that the SLA on the mucosal side transversed the orbicularis oris muscle to the SLV (55%). Histological analysis of fetuses revealed that the SLA was on the mucosal side, similar to that in adults, and traversed the orbicularis oris muscle in continuity with the SLV of the cutaneous side (100%). In lip augmentation, the reconstruction of the vascular structure, which involves the anastomosis of SLA and SLV passing through the orbicularis oris muscle, is an important factor when considering esthetic repair.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151808
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Tokyo Dental College Research Branding Project .

Funding Information:
The authors wish to sincerely thank those who donated their bodies to science so that anatomical research could be performed. Results from such research can potentially improve patient care and increase overall knowledge for the benefit of all mankind. These donors and their families deserve and have our highest gratitude. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI grants (Grant Numbers: no. JP20K09895 [S.A.], and JP20K10191 [M.Y.]) and by the Tokyo Dental College Research Branding project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier GmbH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology


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