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Face and Jaw Surgery

Inside upper lip

05/30/2007

Question:

I went to see my medical doctor re: a non cancer cyst inside my lip. She referred me to ENT dr. He said he can remove it. Since then, I have had 5 surgeries to remove what they called `tan tissue". I now have a big lump and a white scar in the `center of my upper lip" which is causing me terrific pain. They now said, I developed a neuroma. Do you think this can be fixed? Thank you.

Answer:

Formation of neuroma in the upper lip is unusual. Traumatic neuroma, follows nerve injury (often as a result of surgery). They occur at the end of injured nerve fibers as a form of uneffective, unregulated nerve regeneration; it occurs most commonly near a scar, either superficially (skin, subcutaneous fat) or deep. There are no major nerve fibers present in the mid-upper lip. I am unsure why 5 surgeries were required for the removal of a non-cancerous cyst. A pathology report is highly important for the diagnosis. What did the pathology (biopsy) report say?

Your description suggests you had a mucocele (mucous retention cyst), that recurs if the associated small salivary glands are not removed adequately. The mouth is lined by thousands of small salivary glands below the oral tissue layer (mucosa). Damage to one of the small glands cause these cysts, which are slightly bluish in color.

Superficial neuromas can be easily excised. I suggest you obtain the pathology result, and if required, you need to see an other ENT or oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a second opinion.

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Response by:

Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati