Primary abbe flap for median cleft lip deformity: New trends on an old concept

Jordan P. Steinberg, Colin M. Brady, Fernando D. Burstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The authors present our experience using primary Abbe flaps for median cleft lip. Methods: The records of 9 patients who underwent primary Abbe flaps were reviewed for indications, operative details, and complications. Flap design is discussed, including the "W" method to facilitate columellar reconstruction.Maxillomandibular fixationwas not used. Results: From 2004 to 2015, 9 patients with median cleft lip received primary Abbe flaps. Mean age was 10.2±6.2 months. Lobar holoprosencephaly was confirmed by imaging in 5 of the 9 patients. Operative time averaged 70±22 minutes. Flap division was performed at a mean of 3.6±0.9 weeks. Patients were followed for a mean of 45±49 months. No flaps were lost to vascular compromise and no dehiscences or infections were noted after initial repair. Five patients required prolonged intubation ranging from 4 to 7 days and 3 required transition to gastric feedings postoperatively. One patient with holoprosencephaly expired for reasons independent of surgery. Four patients have undergone 5 lip revisions to date. Conclusions: Patients with holoprosencephaly-spectrum disorder and median cleft lip have more favorable prognoses today. The Abbe flap may be safely and advantageously used for the primary repair of median cleft lip with extreme prolabial tissue deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-483
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 23 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Abbe flap
  • Holoprosencephaly
  • Median cleft lip
  • Midline cleft lip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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