Complete Lower Lip Reconstruction with a Large Lip Switch Flap and a Composite Modiolus Advancement Flap

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Total loss of the lower lip is debilitating and poses a reconstructive challenge. Aiming to restore oral continence and function and also cosmetic appearance, a successful reconstruction has a huge impact on the quality of life for the individual patient. Early sources of local tissue rearrangement for lip reconstruction date back 3000 years, with earliest reports of lip switch procedures more than 2 centuries ago in Europe, when noma was still endemic in Europe, indicating that the anatomy was better understood by the barber surgeons of the past than we like to acknowledge. We are still faced with such challenging cases all over the world where resources are limited. Our current understanding of perforator anatomy and blood supply makes more frequent revisits to flaps of the past with modern advances. Innovative solutions are imperative for salvage, and old ideas tend to reappear when they prove to be useful. Herein, we describe in open access a new reconstructive method where we combined a large lip switch flap together with a composite advancement modiolus flap to reconstruct a whole lower lip and the donor defect of the upper lip all at once, a procedure that is simple to perform and works in settings where it is greatly needed.

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