J Korean Soc Microsurg.  2007 May;16(1):39-47.

Reliability of the Anterior Thigh Free Flap for Reconstruction of the Extremities

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, DongGuk University Medical School, Korea. sreo@duih.org

Abstract

With the advent of microsurgery, perforator free flap is nowadays considered the first choice for reconstruction of the extensive defect of the extremities because of their moderate thickness. Among them, anterior (anterolateral and anteromedial) thigh perforator free flaps provide the first choice for reconstruction of various soft tissue defects of the extremities with many advantage such as its large, uniform thickness, long vascular pedicle with proper vessel size and minimal donor site morbidity. But, it has still some criticism of unreliable perforators which makes us very careful in elevating the flap. Between March of 2006 and February of 2007, we treated 7 patients of soft tissue defects in the hand and lower extremities with anterior thigh perforator free flap at Hallym and DongGuk University Hospital. We performed 6 anterolateral thigh perforator free flaps based on the descending branch of lateral circumflex femoral artery (LCFA) and 1 anteromedial thigh perforator free flap based on the innominate branch of the LCFA. While approaching for the anterolateral thigh free flap, we happen to meet the cases which we should change into the anteromedial thigh free flap uneventfully on the operating field. In contrast to the original design of anterolateral thigh free flap, we had to harvest the anteromedial thigh perforator free flap in 1 case. All the anterior thigh perforator free flaps survived completely except 1 case of partial necrosis due to venous congestion. Donor sites were closed primarily and healed uneventfully within 2 weeks. Patients were satisfied with the functionally and aesthetically acceptable results. Although doppler sonography is strongly recommended preoperatively in planning the anterior thigh perforator free flaps, we should always remember the variation in vascular anatomy and be ready to change the flap choice from the anterolateral to anteromedial intraoperatively. we provide a review of the literature and present our series of anterior thigh perforator free flaps for reconstruction of the extremities.

Keyword

Anterior (anterolateral and anteromedial) thigh perforator free flap; Reconstruction of the extremities

MeSH Terms

Extremities*
Femoral Artery
Free Tissue Flaps*
Hand
Humans
Hyperemia
Lower Extremity
Microsurgery
Necrosis
Thigh*
Tissue Donors
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