Individualized design of double skin paddle anterolateral thigh perforator flaps to repair complex soft tissue defects of the extremities: An anatomical study and retrospective cohort study

Published:October 21, 2020DOI:


      This study describes our experience using individually designed double skin paddle anterolateral thigh perforator (ALTP) flaps to reconstruct complex soft tissue defects. An anatomical study of double skin paddle ALTP flaps was conducted in six fresh cadavers (12 thighs). We also performed a retrospective cohort study of 36 patients who underwent reconstruction using double skin paddle ALTP flaps from January 2009 to June 2019. The soft tissue defects were large or non-adjacent defects that could not be repaired by a single flap. Three types of double skin paddle ALTP flaps were designed. In type I, separate perforators supplied each flap: one perforator from the transverse branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery (LCFA) and one from the descending branch of the LCFA (d-LCFA). In type II, both perforators were from the d-LCFA. In type III, a single perforator from the d-LCFA had two branches that each supplied one flap. In the cadaver study, type I was observed in 11 thighs, type II in 10, and type III in six. All patients were successfully treated using double skin paddle ALTP flaps. Four patients received type I flaps, 23 received type II, and nine received type III. Vascular compromise occurred in one patient, and the flap was saved by emergency revascularization. Most patients had satisfactory contours and functional recovery during follow-up. Individually designed double skin paddle ALTP flaps is a reliable option for reconstructing complex soft tissue defects. Moreover, we created an algorithm for microvascular reconstruction of complex soft tissue defects.


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