The profunda artery perforator (PAP) flap can be an alternative to the deep inferior epigastric artery flap. However, in some cases, the PAP may not be adequate to perfuse the whole flap. In this study, we describe 3 cases in which an alternative perforator was used for PAP flap perfusion. In addition, we describe an anatomical study to explore the perforasome of the PAP and alternative perforators.
Materials and Methods
Three cases are described in which an alternative perforator was used to successfully perfuse the pap flap. For the anatomical study, 7 PAP flaps were raised from cadavers. Ink was injected in the PAP, the gracilis perforator (GP) and the descending branch of the inferior gluteal artery perforator (DBIGA). Then, perfused area of the flap by each perforator was calculated.
The 3 patients with alternative perforators recovered without complications, in addition, no signs of fat necrosis were observed. Concerning the anatomical study, mean perfusion area of the PAP pedicle was 204 ± 90 cm2 (range, 141–364 cm2). The GP and the DBIGA had a perfusion area of 182 ± 42 cm2 (range, 123–235 cm2) and 157 ± 22 cm2 (range, 136–192), respectively.
Although the PAP flap has considerable benefits over the more traditional inferior gluteal artery perforator and transverse upper gracilis flaps, a plastic surgeon might encounter a PAP flap perforator that is not deemed viable for flap perfusion. In these cases, the GP and DBIGA may be suitable “escape” alternatives to complete the reconstruction.