These 3 illustrations come from Abbe’s original description in in 1898,

The Abbe flap is a lip switch flap that takes advantage of the laxity of the lower lip.  The projected upper lip defect is assessed, and a flap of sufficient dimensions to close this defect is drawn on the lower lip.  Although it is possible to design an abbe flap anywhere on the lower lip, aesthetic results are the best when the flap comes from the middle of the lip.

Ideally the flap should not violate the labiomental fold, as it does in Abbe’s original drawing.




















When the flap is being raised, as it is cut on the side opposite the pedicle, the position of the vessels should be noted.  This allows safe incision of the skin, muscle and mucosa to create a narrow but secure pedicle.  The flap can survive even if the labial artery is injured if a sufficiently large cuff of mucosa is left with the pedicle.


The pedicle is divided at 10-14 days in a second stage.  Often times more stages are required to touch up minor deformities related to the lip switch such as bulges, step offs or discolorations.