The leg and peripatellar region have always been known as a poor source of available flaps. One flap donor site that has proven to be adequate is the distal anteromedial half of the thigh. Due to the potential and plentiful vascular sources of this anatomic region we decided to study the distal anteromedial thigh and its clinical applications.
Sixteen cryopreserved inferior limbs were latex-injected in the femoral artery and the skin perforators of the distal anteromedial thigh and their source vessels were studied.
In a period between December 2000 and June 2005, skin islands from the distal anteromedial aspect of the thigh of six patients were transferred, as local perforator flaps, to reconstruct the peripatellar region and upper leg soft tissue defects. Every flap was based on a single adequate perforator vessel. The tissue was rotated, as a ‘propeller’, through 180° and the flap was named ‘the propeller distal anteromedial thigh perforator flap’.
In the distal anteromedial thigh the anatomic variability includes not only perforator vessels but also their source vessels. Skin perforators can come from each of the deep vessels.
Our clinical results, with a follow up of 1–4 years, show no total flap losses. Partial necrosis>20% happened in one diabetic patient.
The propeller distal anteromedial thigh perforator flap can be reliably transferred based on only one adequate perforator vessel. It reduces the morbidity and improves the availability of the distal anteromedial thigh as a flap donor site and represents an additional reconstructive option for knee and upper leg defects.
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Published online: May 14, 2007
Accepted: February 26, 2007
Received: August 3, 2006
© 2007 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.