Effectiveness of Vermilionectomy in SCC and AC of the Lower Lip Investigated

Low rate of local recurrence for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lower lip
Low rate of local recurrence for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lower lip

HealthDay News — Vermilionectomy is effective for treatment of actinic cheilitis (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lower lip, according to a research letter published online December 14 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Isa Kaya, MD, from Ege University in Bornova, Turkey, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 94 patients who underwent vermilionectomy and wedge resection in SCC and AC of the lower lip and had regular follow-up between 2005 and 2015. Patients were followed for a mean period of 68 months. Thirty-eight patients underwent classic vermilionectomy, and modified vermilionectomy with partial resection of the orbicularis oris muscle was performed in 19 patients. All patients underwent reconstruction with mucosal advancement flap. Simultaneous V-shaped wedge resection was performed for the patients with SCC. 

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The researchers found that preoperative biopsy revealed AC alone in 55 patients and SCC in 39 patients. SCC was revealed accompanying AC in 14 patients in postoperative biopsy; four patients in the AC-only group had SCC in situ. All SCC patients had T1 tumors. During follow-up, 6 patients died due to other comorbidities. Two patients with SCC (5%) had local recurrence. None of the AC-only patients had invasive carcinoma. Dehiscence was observed in three patients, and 11 had paresthesia as well.

"Vermilionectomy is a preferable option in the treatment of the AC and superficial SCC, which also prevents malignant transformation of the AC to SCC," the authors write. "In addition, it has low complication rates."

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