Aesthetic Enhancement of the Vermilion Using Dermofat Graft in Patients With Cleft Lip Deformity

Kyung Hoon Chung, Karel A. deLeeuw, Hsiu Hsia Lin, Lun Jou Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: There is an increasing patient expectation for better esthetics, manifesting through anatomical harmony, projection, and volume of the upper lip relative to the lower lip, in patients with cleft deformity. The aim of this study is to investigate the outcome of vermilion augmentation using autologous dermofat graft (DFG) to enhance the lip using both quantitative and qualitative assessment. Methods: Patients with secondary cleft lip deformity who received the surgical treatment in our institution from 2015 to 2018 were recruited. Panel assessment was performed on standardized preoperative and postoperative digital photographs. A patient questionnaire was used for the reported outcome. Image processing and analyses were applied to measure the lip change. Statistical analyses were performed. Results: A total of 91 patients were included. The mean age at operation was 22.7 years, and postoperative follow-up was 3.6 years. There were no complications in the study group. The panel assessment showed significant improvement (P <.00001) on upper lip vermilion in both frontal and lateral profile views. Ninety-five percent of patients reported improvement of the upper lip projection and volume. Quantitative image analysis showed an increase in the upper lip vermilion ratio in 97% of the cases in frontal views and improvement of the vermilion projection in 87% of the cases in the superimposed lateral views. Conclusions: The use of DFG is an effective and reproducible method for vermilion augmentation and aesthetic enhancement in patients presenting with upper lip insufficiency relative to the lower lip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalThe Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.


  • aesthetic enhancement
  • cleft lip deformity
  • dermofat graft
  • vermilion augmentation


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