Feasibility of a Deepithelialized Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator Propeller Flap for Various Lumbosacral Defects

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Abstract

Skin and soft tissue defects in the lumbosacral area are commonly encountered in the field of reconstructive surgery, and it is well documented that the superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap provides excellent coverage of these defects. In this article, we describe our experience using a modified version of the SGAP propeller flap, in which the distal redundant portion of an elevated SGAP flap is deepithelialized, thereby maximizing the effect of the soft tissue augmentation. Thirteen patients with lumbosacral soft tissue defects treated between May 2010 and June 2012 were included in this study. The wound causes were pressure ulcer (n = 9), pseudomeningocele (n = 2), and hardware exposure (n = 2). In all patients, an elevated SGAP flap was rotated 180 degrees over the defect area and the extra distal portion of the flap was deepithelialized and used as a soft tissue filler or tamponade. During the follow-up period (mean, 26 months), 12 of 13 flaps survived completely. One flap was totally necrosed due to progressive venous congestion and was reconstructed with local advancement flaps. No further complications were noted. Because of the redundancy and pliability of the tissue in the gluteal area, a flap relatively wider or longer than the defect can be elevated safely. Hence, the redundant tissue volume can be tucked inside to facilitate soft tissue augmentation of the area. We propose that the deepithelialized version of the SGAP propeller flap is an effective option for the reconstruction of various lumbosacral soft tissue defects because it offers thick and healthy soft tissue from a distant site to the defect areas.

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