Reconstruction of the superior labial sulcus in secondary bilateral cleft lip deformities: An inverted U-shaped flap
A shallow buccal sulcus deformity following bilateral cleft lip repair is not rare. A variety of techniques are described for the secondary reconstruction of a deficient sulcus. Most of these are associated with a variable amount of contraction with subsequent obliteration of the sulcus. In this article an inverted U-shaped flap is described for the secondary reconstruction of the deficient sublabial sulcus. In these patients mobility of the upper lip was severely restricted so orthodontic treatment was not possible. This technique was used in nine patients whose primary cleft lip repairs were performed in different institutions. The amount of re-adhesion or contraction was negligible because a bare surface was not left behind and skin or mucosal grafts were not used. By advancing the lateral segments of the lip medially projection of the upper lip was increased. The procedure resulted in adequate upper lip mobility for all patients and sufficient sulcus was maintained during 1 to 6 years of follow-up. The patients experienced no difficulty with orthodontic appliances after this reconstruction.