Vermilion Only Cross-lip Flap for Treating Whistle Deformity in Secondary Bilateral Cleft Lip Repair

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Abstract

Summary:

Bilateral cleft lip repairs can result in various secondary deformities. One more commonly seen deformity, the whistle deformity, is characterized by a reduced or absent tubercle, orbicularis muscle diastasis, and abnormalities of the philtrum with notched appearance of cupid’s bow. Various techniques have been described to address these problems. One common procedure is the lip-switch flap originally described by Abbe in 1898, which has been modified by various surgeons. In these procedures, lower lip vermilion, mucosa, orbicularis, and lip skin are transposed to the upper lip on a pedicle that is later divided. In all these variations of the lip-switch procedure, the transposed tissue involves the entire lower lip skin—leaving large, unsightly, and unnecessary scars. It also brings abnormal tissue into the philtrum further distorting the upper lip. A modified cross-lip flap that is limited to the taking only mucosa, vermilion, and orbicularis is feasible and provides an optimal reconstruction without compromising additional tissue.

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