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The Neurocutaneous Flap Based on the Dorsal Branches of the Ulnar Artery and Nerve: A New Flap for Extensive Reconstruction of the Hand

Bertelli, Jayme Augusto M.D., Ph.D.; Pagliei, Antonio M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 1998 - Volume 101 - Issue 6 - p 1537–1543
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Soft-tissue repair in the hand often requires skin flaps due to exposure of bone, tendons, nerves, and arteries. However, alternatives for flap surgery are very limited, especially in dealing with palmar hand reconstruction. In the present report, the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve and its accompanying artery were studied anatomically, and a neurocutaneous flap distally based on these structures was developed. The flap was raised on the medial aspect of the hand and distal half of the forearm, and its rotation point was located dorsally near the metacarpalphalangeal joints. The clinical use of this flap for the repair of skin defects in the hand is reported. All the clinical flaps survived completely, including a 3.5 × 13-cm large flap. Donor site morbidity was minimal. This flap represents a new alternative in hand reconstruction. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 101: 1537, 1998.)

Florianópolis, Brazil, Paris, France, and Rome, Italy

Jayme Augusto Bertelli, M.D., Ph.D. Praça Getulio Vargas, 322 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil 88020030

From the Department of Microsurgery at Joana de Gusmão Children's Hospital, Laboratoire d'Anatomie, Biomedicale des Saints-Péres, and Instituto di Clinica Ortopedica, Universita catolica del Sacro Cuore. Received for publication January 14, 1997; revised June 2, 1997.

©1998American Society of Plastic Surgeons