Author(s): Pribaz JJ, Orgill DP, Epstein MD, Sampson CE, Hergrueter CA
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Abstract The descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery is a large-caliber artery that passes obliquely across the upper third of the thigh and descends between the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris muscles. It sends perforators through the septum between these muscles and through the vastus lateralis muscle and supplies a large area of skin on the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. We report our experience with our first 44 consecutive anterolateral thigh flaps, which were used for a variety of soft-tissue deficits. Twenty-five of these flaps were used for lower extremity reconstruction. 10 were used in the upper extremity, and 9 were used in the head and neck. The overall success rate was 96\%. Six flaps required reoperation; of these, 2 flaps were lost, one from a venous thrombosis and the other from arterial thrombosis, both of which were in the lower extremity. In approximately one third of cases, the flap was raised as a septofasciocutaneous flap, but in two thirds it was necessary to include a small segment of vastus lateralis muscle as well as fascia with the flap. The flap has been particularly useful for lower extremity reconstruction, and in patients who are not fit for general anesthesia, it is possible to perform the flap transfer with epidural anesthesia. The flap has the advantage of a long vascular pedicle with large-caliber vessels and thus is suitable as a flow-through flap. It may also be sensate and has provided a versatile soft-tissue coverage option with minimal long-term donor-site complications.
This article was published in Ann Plast Surg
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research