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Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2012 May-Jun;14(3):193-7. doi: 10.1001/archfacial.2012.35.

Outcomes following V-Y advancement flap reconstruction of large upper lip defects.

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Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.



To characterize revision surgery following V-Y subcutaneous tissue pedicle advancement flap repair of large upper lip skin defects.


Retrospective review of upper lip skin defects at least 3.0 cm(2) in area that were reconstructed with a V-Y subcutaneous tissue pedicle advancement flap at an academic tertiary care center. Depth and area of the defect, as well as involvement of the vermilion and nasal ala, were recorded as independent variables. Revision techniques were analyzed to identify patterns.


Thirty patients were identified as having upper lip skin defects with a mean (range) area of 7.0 (3.0-14.0) cm(2) (median, 6.25 cm(2)). The defect involved the nasal ala in 4 cases and the vermilion in 3 cases. At least 1 revision surgery was performed in 14 patients (47%). Alar or vermilion involvement was a significant factor in revision by χ(2) analysis (P = .03). Larger defect size did not predict a need for revision, even among cases where the defect did not involve the ala or vermilion (P = .68).


Reconstruction of large upper lip skin defects with a V-Y subcutaneous tissue pedicle advancement flap is associated with a 47% revision rate, and when the defect involves the ala or vermilion, the revision rate is increased. Defect size alone cannot be used to predict the need for revision surgery. Revision techniques are demonstrated.

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