Recently, anterolateral thigh flap has become one of the most commonly used free flaps in reconstructive surgery. Although its pedicle has relatively sufficient length, it falls short in some circumstances. Eccentric perforator location can be used to lengthen the pedicle, but flap tip viability can be a problem in this case. In addition, partial flap loss can be encountered in perforator flaps. The aim of this study was the use of multidetector computed tomographic angiography in preoperative mapping to overcome these problems.
Materials and Methods
Anterolateral thigh perforator flap was planned for various soft-tissue reconstructions in 19 patients. There were 15 males and 4 female patients with ages ranging from 19 to 65 years. These patients were evaluated with preoperative multidetector computed tomographic angiography to choose and to trace the course of the perforators. Flaps were designed according to the suprafascial course of the perforators. Perforators were safely located eccentrically when needed. Pedicle length and complications, such as infection, wound dehiscence, and partial or total flap loss, were recorded.
Perforators were located eccentrically in 8 patients and centrally in the other 11 patients. Eleven flaps were used in lower leg reconstruction, 2 flaps in popliteal region, and 6 flaps in head and neck. All flaps survived and any partial or total loss did not occur. There was not any infection and wound problem.
Multidetector computed tomographic angiography can reveal the suprafascial course of the perforator and help design anterolateral thigh perforator flap. By using this kind of mapping, perforators can be safely located eccentrically to lengthen the pedicle and partial flap loss can be prevented.