Actinic cheilitis: aesthetic and functional comparative evaluation of vermilionectomy using the classic and W-plasty techniques

BACKGROUND: Chronic actinic cheilitis is actinic keratosis located on the vermilion border. Treatment is essential because of the potential for malignant transformation. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the aesthetic and functional results of vermilionectomy using the classic and Wplasty techniques in actinic cheilitis. In the classic technique, the scar is linear and in the W-plasty one, it is a broken line. METHODS: 32 patients with clinical and histopathological diagnosis of actinic cheilitis were treated. Out of the 32 patients, 15 underwent the W-plasty technique and 17 underwent the classic one. We evaluated parameters such as scar retraction and functional changes. RESULTS: A statistically significant association between the technique used and scar retraction was found, which was positive when using the classic technique (p = 0.01 with Yates' correction). The odds ratio was calculated at 11.25, i.e., there was a greater chance of retraction in patients undergoing the classic technique. Both techniques revealed no functional changes. We evaluated postoperative complications such as the presence of crusts, dry lips, paresthesia, and suture dehiscence. There was no statistically significant association between complications and the technique used (p = 0.69). CONCLUSION: We concluded that vermilionectomy using the W-plasty technique shows better cosmetic results and similar complication rates.

Cheilitis; Photosensitivity disorders; Precancerous conditions

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