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Anatomy of Vastus Lateralis Muscle Flap

Tayfur, Volkan MD*; Magden, Orhan MD; Edizer, Mete MD; Atabey, Atay MD§

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: November 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 1951-1953
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3181f4ee7f
Anatomical Studies

A vastus lateralis muscle flap is used as a pedicled and free flap. In this study, the vastus lateralis muscles of 15 adult formalin-fixed cadavers (30 cases) were dissected. The dominant pedicle was found to be descending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery. The mean diameter of the artery was found to be 2.1 mm. This pedicle was located 119.4 mm distal to the pubic symphysis. The mean length of the major pedicle was found to be 56.8 mm when the dominant pedicle was chosen to nourish the flap. The dominant pedicle entered the muscle 155.8 and 213.7 mm from the greater trochanter and the anterior superior iliac spine, respectively. The muscle had proximal minor pedicles from the ascending and transverse branches of lateral circumflex femoral artery. These arteries had mean diameters of 1.8 and 2.0 mm, respectively. The distal minor branches were present in all of the dissections. The distal branch had a mean diameter of 1.8 mm. The origin of this distal branch was located 83.7 mm proximal to the intercondylar line. The motor nerve of the vastus lateralis was found to be originating from femoral nerve. The nerve entered the muscle 194.6 mm from the anterior superior iliac spine.

From the *Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun; †Department of Anatomy, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir; ‡Department of Anatomy, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun; and §Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, Turkey.

Received April 26, 2010.

Accepted for publication June 20, 2010.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Volkan Tayfur, MD, Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139 Samsun, Turkey; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2010 Mutaz B. Habal, MD