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J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2013 Dec;47(6):524-7. doi: 10.3109/2000656X.2013.792268. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

The Abbé flap in cleft lip and palate repair.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Lund University , Lund , Sweden.


The Abbé flap is a procedure where the volume of the upper lip is increased at the expense of the lower lip. This study reviewed the Abbé flaps done at Skåne University Hospital during the years 1991-2006 and identified 14 patients. Data was collected from medical records. Eleven patients were deemed fit for interviews and were called to the hospital by standard mail. Six patients responded and were interviewed, examined, and photographed. One patient was interviewed over the telephone. Median age at surgery was 14 years (range = 6-22). The operation time was 152 minutes (range = 90-215). The Abbé flap was divided after 12 days (range = 11-16). All 14 flaps survived and no complications were noted. Secondary corrections were done in nine patients. Three patients experienced having their lips sutured together as difficult, and four patients described this period as easy. All patients described their lips as having better appearance after the operation and, in three of four cases, where a simultaneous columella lengthening was done, the patients described their noses as having better appearance. The scar on the lower lip was negative but also a prerequisite for the operation. All seven patients said the operation was worth all the effort and would recommend it to patients in similar situations. This data supports that the Abbé flap is a safe technique that effectively improves the appearance of the upper lip and satisfies the cleft lip and palate patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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