Botulinum toxin to improve results in cleft lip repair

Chun Shin Chang, Christopher Glenn Wallace, Yen Chang Hsiao, Chee Jen Chang, Philip Kuo Ting Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND:: Upper lip wounds that lie perpendicular to the relaxed skin tension lines are subjected to repetitive dynamic tension caused by the orbicularis oris muscle and are susceptible to unsatisfactory scarring. METHODS:: In this double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled, prospective trial, 60 consecutive patients with unilateral cleft lip undergoing primary cheiloplasties between August of 2011 and June of 2012 were randomized to receive botulinum toxin type A or vehicle injections into the subjacent orbicularis oris muscle immediately after wound closure. Scars were assessed after 6 months using the Vancouver Scar Scale, photographic visual analogue scale, and photographic scar width measurements. RESULTS:: Fifty-nine patients completed the trial. Measurements of scar widths at two defined points revealed significantly better visual analogue scale scores and narrower scars in the experimental group. However, Vancouver Scar Scale assessments were similar between groups. CONCLUSIONS:: Botulinum toxin injections into the subjacent orbicularis oris muscle produced better appearing and narrower cheiloplasty scars, but provided no additional benefits in terms of scar pigmentation, vascularity, pliability, or height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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