Congenital midline cervical cleft: A practical approach to Z-plasty closure

C. Spencer Cochran, Robert J. DeFatta, Amy C. Brenski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A congenital midline cervical cleft (CMCC) is a rare developmental abnormality with several common features of variable severity: a midline defect of anterior neck skin, a superior nipple-like skin projection, and a subcutaneous fibrous cord. Congenital midline cervical clefts have important functional and cosmetic implications as cicatrical contracture with subsequent deformity may result without early surgical intervention. Treatment involves excision of all abnormal tissue, and reconstruction with Z-plasty techniques is favored because linear closure results in hypertrophic scarring and recurrent contracture. Z-plasty allows broken-line closure, reorientation of the defect in the horizontal plane with re-creation of a cervicomental angle, and most importantly, a lengthening of the anterior neck skin that aids in preventing recurrent contracture. We present our experience managing a congenital cervical midline cleft in a 3-month-old patient and describe a simple technique for planning the ideal Z-plasty closure. No simple description for planning the ideal closure for this defect could be found in the otolaryngology literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Congenital midline cervical cleft
  • Midline cleft
  • Z-plasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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