Advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the upper lip in an albino: A reconstructive challenge

  • KO Opara
  • BC Jiburum


Background: Albinos are prone to developing non melanomatous skin cancers. Late presentation constitutes a reconstructive challenge. We present an adult albino who presented with an advanced squamous cell carcinoma.
Patient and method: A case of a 68 year old woman with a near total loss of the upper lip (loss of the upper lip sparing both commissures) following tumour resection presented with an 18 month history of an upper lip growth. The fungating mass occupied almost the entire upper lip, sparing about 1 to 1.5 cm of lip tissue on both sides. Its upper limit was about 0.7cm from the floor of the nasal cavity. The tumour was resected with a 0.5 cm margin and the lip reconstructed primarily using bilateral cheek advancement and an Abbe flap under local anesthesia. Flap division and inset was done after two weeks and sutures removed one week later. The patient tolerated the procedure very well. The early results appeared satisfactory both at rest and with lip animation.
Conclusion: Near total loss of the upper lip can be reconstructed with bilateral cheek advancement for the lateral part and an Abbe flap for the central portion. The procedure is simple, can be performed under local anesthesia and is recommended for this type of defect as it tries to replace like tissue with its kind.

Keywords: Albino, squamous cell carcinoma, local flap, local anaesthesia


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eISSN: 0794-9316