Posterior thigh perforator flaps: An anatomical study to localize and classify posterior thigh perforators

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Abstract

In the last decade perforator flaps have been used increasingly for different indications. Many regions may serve as donor site. In this respect the posterior thigh region (PTR) has been neglected as a potential donor site for many years. The purpose of this study was to provide complete mapping of perforators supplying the posterior thigh region. Twelve fresh cadaver thighs were prepared injecting diluted acrylic paint into the iliac artery. Thereafter the posterior thighs were dissected from medial to lateral, distinguishing the perforators at the level of the superficial fascia. The perforators were localized and origin, source, length and diameter of the perforators were documented. Analysis occurred using ANOVA and the two proportion Z test. The distribution of musculocutaneous and septocutaneous perforators was respectively 69.1% and 30.9% (P = 0.002). The PTR was divided in thirds. Most perforators (53.2%) were found in de middle third of the PTR. The deep femoral artery (DFA) was the main origin of perforators (61.7%), followed by the superficial femoral artery (SFA) (27.7%) and the popliteal artery (PA) (10.6%). The DFA perforators were the longest with a mean length of 13.7 ± 4,69 cm, the SFA perforators were 9.79 ± 3.76 cm and the PA perforators were 8.6 ± 3.37 cm. The PTR offers a sufficient number of suitable perforators to serve as an adequate donorsite for pedicled and free flaps. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 33:376–382, 2013.

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