The philtrum: Anatomical observations from a new perspective

C. Alejandra Garcia De Mitchell, Joel E. Pessa, Mark V. Schaverien, Rod J. Rohrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The anatomy of the upper lip has previously been studied with a focus on muscular components. The authors' group has recently demonstrated that the superficial fat of the face is partitioned into compartments by membranes and associated vessels. The authors implement this concept to evaluate the philtrum and gain a better understanding of upper lip anatomy, embryologic development, clefting, and surgical techniques. METHODS: Five fresh cadaver heads were used for gross anatomical dissection. Colored, latex-based paint was injected through the carotid arteries to define the arterial system. Dye was then injected subdermally into the philtral hollow, which was then dissected. Histologic specimens were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. RESULTS: On gross dissection and histology, it was noted that dye did not stain the overlying skin or underlying orbicularis muscle. Furthermore, the dye did not progress laterally beyond the philtral columns. These lateral borders coincided with small ascending arteries and associated membranes branching off the superior labial artery, which the authors name the left and right ascending philtral arteries. CONCLUSIONS: The vascular anatomy of the philtrum is directly related to compartmentalization of superficial fat of the upper lip. A consistent vascular arcade originating from the superior labial arteries includes the ascending philtral arteries and associated membranes that divide the philtral from the lateral lip compartments. These arteries coincide with the location of the philtral columns and clefting in the cleft lip. Understanding this anatomy of the lip will improve surgical techniques and give insight into mechanisms of development and clefting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1756-1760
Number of pages5
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume122
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Fingerprint

Lip
Arteries
Anatomy
Coloring Agents
Membranes
Blood Vessels
Dissection
Fats
Paint
Cleft Lip
Latex
Hematoxylin
Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
Carotid Arteries
Cadaver
Names
Histology
Head
Muscles
Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Garcia De Mitchell, C. A., Pessa, J. E., Schaverien, M. V., & Rohrich, R. J. (2008). The philtrum: Anatomical observations from a new perspective. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 122(6), 1756-1760. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e31817d6160

The philtrum : Anatomical observations from a new perspective. / Garcia De Mitchell, C. Alejandra; Pessa, Joel E.; Schaverien, Mark V.; Rohrich, Rod J.

In: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vol. 122, No. 6, 12.2008, p. 1756-1760.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Garcia De Mitchell, CA, Pessa, JE, Schaverien, MV & Rohrich, RJ 2008, 'The philtrum: Anatomical observations from a new perspective', Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 122, no. 6, pp. 1756-1760. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e31817d6160
Garcia De Mitchell, C. Alejandra ; Pessa, Joel E. ; Schaverien, Mark V. ; Rohrich, Rod J. / The philtrum : Anatomical observations from a new perspective. In: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2008 ; Vol. 122, No. 6. pp. 1756-1760.
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