Augmentation of the Columella-Labial Angle to Prevent the ``Smiling Deformity'' in Rhinoplasty
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Aesthetic diagnosis of the smiling deformity, which is functional rather than anatomical, is essential to provide the best treatment in rhinoplasty. The nasal tip tends to rotate inferiorly during smiling, and the central upper lip moves superiorly. A posteriorly sloping upper lip with a retrodisplaced columella–labial junction gives an unaesthetic appearance. Downward movement of the tip and a sharper nasolabial angle are usually aesthetically unpleasant. In 28 nasal surgeries, augmentation of the columella–labial angle with cartilage strip grafts has been performed. The augmentation of the angle and additionally cutting of the depressor septi muscle created a wider nasolabial complex, and this angle looks full and more pleasant. This procedure has mainly been used as an additional procedure to standard reduction rhinoplasty in order to improve smiling deformity. Strip cartilage grafts were inserted subcutaneously into the upper lip extending half way to the columella and secured with a transcutaneous suture under the columella–labial angle to prevent misslocation. Augmentation by the cartilage graft together with cutting the depressor septi muscle prevented elevation and shortening of the upper lip, and also drooping of the nasal tip. This procedure provided an aesthetically pleasant appearance both at rest and during smiling.
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