The latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap is widely used in reconstructive surgery; however, primary donor-site closure remains challenging when a wide flap is harvested.
A large latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap was elevated and transferred to repair defects. Perforators adjacent to the donor site of the myocutaneous flap were explored using an ultrasound Doppler probe or a technique of extensive exploration along the margins of the donor site wound. A single or multiple perforator propeller flaps based on these perforators were used to close the donor site defect.
From June 2012 to April 2018, this method was used to restore posttraumatic and oncologic defects of the chest wall in 14 cases, upper extremity in 6 cases, and lower extremity in 1 case. The size and width of the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps ranged from 16 × 11 cm to 33 × 17 cm (mean area, 335.6 cm2) and 9 cm to 20 cm (mean width, 14 cm), respectively. The donor site defect was closed primarily by using a single flap in 11 cases, dual flap in 9, and triple flap in one. Donor site breakdown was not observed in any of the cases.
The perforator propeller flap could be used to reconstruct a latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap donor site defect, ensuring not only the harvesting of a wide flap but also achieving primary donor site closure, thus greatly improving the versatility and capability of the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap in the reconstruction of large-sized defects.