Free flaps have been used for over 30 years. During this period, improved anatomical understanding has increased donor options and available pedicle lengths, permitting safer, single-stage reconstructions with simpler anastomoses. Refinements, such as perforator flaps in particular, have greatly improved donor morbidity, recipient site cosmesis, and the ability to replace ‘like with like’ while retaining options for innervation. This case highlights the evolution from one of Europe's first free tissue transfers, effectively a perforator flap, through the advent of free muscle flaps to the current generation of contourable perforator flaps. Free flap transfer has become increasingly sophisticated, safer, and more predictable, yet the potential quality of reconstructive outcome has changed little.
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Published online: August 28, 2007
☆This work was presented, in part, at the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons Winter Meeting, 2006.
© 2006 Published by Elsevier Inc.