Arch Plast Surg.  2021 Jan;48(1):121-126. 10.5999/aps.2020.01802.

The perforator-centralizing technique for super-thin anterolateral thigh perforator flaps: Minimizing the partial necrosis rate

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Bucheon St. Mary Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Korea


Despite the wide demand for thin flaps for various types of extremity reconstruction, the thin elevation technique for anterolateral thigh (ALT) flaps is not very popular because of its technical difficulty and safety concerns. This study proposes a novel perforatorcentralizing technique for super-thin ALT flaps and analyzes its effects in comparison with a skewed-perforator group.
From June 2018 to January 2020, 41 patients who required coverage of various types of defects with a single perforator-based super-thin ALT free flap were enrolled. The incidence of partial necrosis and proportion of the necrotic area were analyzed on postoperative day 20 according to the location of superficial penetrating perforators along the flap. The centralized-perforator group was defined as having a perforator anchored to the middle third of the x- and y-axes of the flap, while the skewed-perforator group was defined as having a perforator anchored outside of the middle third of the x- and y-axes of the flap.
No statistically significant difference in flap thickness and dimension was found between the two groups. The arterial and venous anastomosis patterns of patients in both groups were not significantly different. Only the mean partial necrotic area showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (centralized-perforator group, 3.4%±2.2%; skewed-perforator group, 15.8%±8.6%; P=0.022).
The present study demonstrated that super-thin ALT perforator flaps can be elevated safely, with minimal partial necrosis, using the perforator-centralizing technique.


Free flaps / Perforator flaps / Microsurgical free flaps
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