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Repair lip, full thickness; over one-half vertical height, or complex

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Repair lip, full thickness; over one-half vertical height, or complex


Repairing the lip involves surgically addressing full-thickness injuries that affect more than half of its vertical height. This procedure is often needed for complex cases where the lip has sustained significant damage.


The purpose of this procedure is to restore function and improve the aesthetic appearance of the lip. It addresses conditions such as trauma, congenital defects, or severe lacerations, with goals that include regaining lip function, facilitating proper speech and eating, and achieving a natural appearance.


  • Major trauma or lacerations affecting the lip
  • Congenital deformities like cleft lip
  • Severe lip defects or disfigurements
  • Functional impairment of the lip impacting speech, eating, or facial expressions


  • Patients may need to fast for several hours before the procedure.
  • Adjustments to medications may be required.
  • Diagnostic tests such as blood work or imaging studies.
  • Pre-operative consultation to discuss the procedure details and consent.

Procedure Description

  1. Anesthesia: Administering local or general anesthesia based on the extent of the repair.
  2. Incision and Exposure: Carefully creating incisions to expose the affected area.
  3. Tissue Repair: Aligning and suturing the lip tissues meticulously to restore full thickness.
  4. Reconstruction: If needed, using grafts or flaps to rebuild complex structures.
  5. Closure: Suturing the incision site to achieve a natural contour and appearance.

Tools include surgical scalpels, sutures, and potentially grafting materials.


The procedure typically takes around 1 to 3 hours, depending on the complexity.


Performed in a hospital operating room or a specialized surgical center.


  • Surgeon: Specialized in plastic, reconstructive, or maxillofacial surgery.
  • Nurses: Assist with preparation, monitoring, and post-operative care.
  • Anesthesiologist: Manages anesthesia and monitors the patient during surgery.

Risks and Complications

  • Common risks: Infection, bleeding, scarring.
  • Rare risks: Nerve damage, tissue necrosis, allergic reactions to anesthesia or materials.
  • Management: Antibiotics for infection, proper wound care, surgical intervention for complications.


  • Restored functionality of the lip.
  • Improved appearance and symmetry.
  • Enhanced ability to speak, eat, and make facial expressions.


  • Immediate Care: Application of ice packs, pain management, and wound care instructions.
  • Recovery Time: Typically 2 to 4 weeks for most of the healing, although complete recovery may take several months.
  • Restrictions: Limited physical activity, dietary guidelines, avoiding strenuous activities.
  • Follow-Up: Regular appointments to monitor healing and remove sutures if necessary.


  • Non-surgical management (only for less severe cases).
  • Skin grafts or flaps as independent procedures.
  • Minimally invasive techniques.
  • Comparison: Surgical repair offers more permanent and reliable outcomes but comes with greater risks than non-surgical options.

Patient Experience

  • During Procedure: Patients under general anesthesia will not feel or remember the procedure. Local anesthesia patients might feel pressure but no pain.
  • After Procedure: Expect swelling, mild to moderate pain managed with medications, and a recovery routine involving rest and specific care instructions.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Repair lip, full thickness; over one-half vertical height, or complex

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