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Distribution Pattern of the Superior and Inferior Labial Arteries: Impact for Safe Upper and Lower Lip Augmentation Procedures

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Background:

Understanding the precise position and course of the superior and inferior labial arteries within the upper lip and the lower lip is crucial for safe and complication-free applications of volumizing materials.

Methods:

One hundred ninety-three anatomical head specimens (56.5 percent female cadavers) of Caucasian ethnicity were investigated in this large multicenter anatomical study. In total, six 3-cm-long vertical incisions were performed on each lip (midline and 1 cm medial to the angles of the mouth) to identify the position of the superior and inferior labial arteries in relation to the orbicularis oris muscle.

Results:

Three different positions of the superior and inferior labial arteries were identified: submucosal (i.e., between the oral mucosa and the orbicularis oris muscle in 78.1 percent of the cases), intramuscular (i.e., between the superficial and deep layers of the orbicularis oris muscle in 17.5 percent of the cases), and subcutaneous (i.e., between the skin and the orbicularis oris muscle in 2.1 percent of the cases). The variability in changing the respective position along the labial course was 29 percent for the total upper and 32 percent for the total lower lip. The midline location was identified in both the upper and lower lips to be the most variable.

Conclusions:

Based on the results of this investigation, a safer location for the application of volumizing material is the subcutaneous plane in the paramedian location of both the upper lip and the lower lip. Care has to be taken when aiming to inject in the midline, as the artery can be identified more frequently in superficial positions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2017

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