Objective: The posterior thigh region has been neglected as a donor site for free perforator flaps, likely due to difficulties in positioning the patient during surgery. This study describes the clinical application of the posterior thigh perforator flap based on the third perforating artery of the profunda femoris artery (PFA).
Methods: The free posterior thigh perforator flap based on the third perforating artery of the PFA was used for reconstruction of soft tissue defects in nine patients between February 2010 and May 2014.
Results: Flap sizes ranged from 12 × 7 cm to 20 × 13 cm. The length of the vascular pedicle averaged 10.28 cm, and the mean diameters of the third perforating artery and venae comitantes were 1.68 and 1.14 mm, respectively. All of the perforators originated from the PFA. Of the 9 free flaps used in 9 patients, 7 flaps survived completely. There were no early complications in these flaps. During the follow-up period, no patient experienced cold intolerance, scar contracture, or scar pain. There were no functional impairments at the donor or recipient sites.
Conclusions: The posterior thigh flap based on the third perforating artery of the PFA is an excellent option for reconstructing soft tissue defects. The anatomical location of the third perforating artery is relatively consistent. The vascular pedicle is relatively longer and has large caliber vessels. The scar at the donor site can be well concealed with low morbidity. The skin color and texture of this flap show satisfactory results.
From the Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, P.R. China.
Received March 8, 2016, and accepted for publication, after revision August 22, 2016.
Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.
Reprints: Laijin Lu, MD, PhD, and Xu Gong, MD, PhD, Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, The First Hospital of Jilin University, No. 71, Xinmin Street, Changchun, Jilin Province, 130021, P.R. China. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.