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Perforator Flaps: Evolution, Classification, and Applications

Geddes, Christopher R. BSc; Morris, Steven F. MD, FRCS(C); Neligan, Peter C. MD, FACS, FRCS(C)

Review Article

In this article, the authors review the literature regarding perforator flaps. Musculocutaneous perforator flaps have evolved from musculocutaneous flaps and offer several distinct advantages. By sparing muscle tissue, thus reducing donor site morbidity and functional loss, perforator flaps are indicated for a number of clinical problems. The versatility of the perforator flap makes it ideal for the reconstruction of three-dimensional defects such as breast reconstruction or as a thin flap for resurfacing shallow wounds when bulk is considered a disadvantage. The authors review the historical development of the perforator flap and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of perforator flaps compared with free and pedicled musculocutaneous flaps. The nomenclature traditionally used for perforator flaps is confusing and lacks a standardized anatomic basis. The authors present a method to describe all perforator flaps according to their artery of origin.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

Received Apr 29, 2002, and

in revised form Jun 29, 2002.

Accepted for publication Jun 29, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Morris, Division of Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University, Room 4443, 1796 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3A7.

Geddes CR, Morris SF, Neligan PC. Perforator flaps: evolution, classification, and applications.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.