Simultaneous reconstruction of the secondary bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity: Abbé flap revisited

Lun Jou Lo, Alex A. Kane, Yu Ray Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The purpose of this retrospective study was to review the method of using the Abbé flap for correction of secondary bilateral cleft lip deformity in selected patients with tight upper lip, short prolabium, lack of acceptable philtral column and Cupid's bow definition, central vermilion deficiency, irregular lip scars, and associated nasal deformity. A total of 39 patients with the bilateral cleft lip nasal deformity received Abbé flap and simultaneous nasal reconstruction during a period of 6 years. Mean patient age at the time of the operation was 19.1 years, and ranged from 6.6 to 38.5 years. The average follow-up period was 1.8 years. Fourteen patients had prior orthognathic operations. The Abbé flap was designed 13 to 14 mm in length and 8 to 9 mm in width and contained full-thickness tissue from the central lower lip, with a slightly narrow reverse-V caudal end. The prolabium, including the scars and central vermilion, was excised. Lengthening procedures of the upper lip segments were performed if vertical deficiency existed. Part of the prolabial skin was preserved and mobilized for columellar elongation, if indicated. Open rhinoplasty was carried out with or without cartilage graft for columella and nasal tip reconstruction. Reduction of the alar width and nostrils was achieved by a Z-plasty or excision of scar tissue at the nostril floor. The Abbé flap was then transposed cephalad, insetting into the median defect and sutured in layers. The results demonstrated no flap problems or perioperative complications. Seven patients needed further minor revisions on the nose and/or lip. Laser treatment was used to improve the lip scars in three patients. The patients were satisfied with the final outcome and found the lower Hp scars acceptable. In conclusion, the described technique of Abbé flap and simultaneous rhinoplasty is an effective reconstructive method for select patients with bilateral cleft lip and nasal deformity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1227
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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