THE FREE DELTOID FLAP: CLINICAL APPLICATIONS TO UPPER EXTREMITY, LOWER EXTREMITY, AND MAXILLARY DEFECTS


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Abstract

The deltoid free flap is a thin, reliable flap that is easily dissected from the posterolateral arm. It has large-caliber vessels and is capable of sensory reinnervation to portions of the flap above the deltoid/triceps groove through the lateral brachial cutaneous nerve. There is little sensory return to the large vascular territory, which can be extended inferiorly below the deltoid triceps groove. The donor site can be closed primarily or skin grafted and when large may be objectionable to some patients. The flap is an excellent choice for extremity softtissue reconstruction on the plantar or palmar surfaces. Because of its excellent color-matching and texture-matching characteristics, it has recently been widely used for the reconstruction of soft-tissue defects during oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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