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This review of 41 latissimus dorsi and 7 rectus abdominis free flaps describes the advantages and disadvantages of these two donor tissues. Flap survival was over 95%. Rectus abdominis carries the greatest area of skin of all the free flaps and makes salvaging of extremities with massive soft tissue loss possible, and it also provides the most elegant small free muscle flap. The latissimus dorsi is suitable for nearly any defect of the body except the foot and the hand because of bulkiness of the tissue and poor development of sensation, and the face because of poor colour match.
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Accepted: April 6, 1987
Received: December 5, 1986
© 1987 The Trustees of British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc.