Reduction of Morbidity With a Reverse-Flow Sural Flap: A Two-Stage Technique

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Abstract

The reverse sural flap has often been used for cutaneous coverage of the distal region of the leg and ankle. When the flap is performed in 2 stages, the vascular pedicle is exteriorized and later resected. Our goal was to assess the reverse sural flap performed in 2 stages regarding its viability and low morbidity along the flap-donor area. Eleven patients with cutaneous coverage loss found in the area between the distal third of the leg and ankle underwent cutaneous coverage surgery with a reverse-flow sural flap with an exteriorized pedicle, without violation of the skin between the base of the flap pedicle to the margin of the wound. After a minimum period of 15 days with flap autonomy, the pedicle was resected. The flap dimensions, its viability before and after the pedicle ligature, and the distance from the intact skin between the flap base and the margin of the wound were evaluated. Any losses were measured as a percentage of the total flap size. The respective length and width of the flap were a mean average of 7.45 cm × 4.18 cm. All the flaps survived. Partial loss of the flap occurred in 3 patients, ranging from 20% to 30%. The mean average distance of the intact skin between the pedicle base and the margin of the wound was 5.59 (range 4 to 8) cm. Our results showed that the 2-stage reverse sural flap ensures good flap survival and low morbidity.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 4

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