Free‐flap salvage: muscle only versus skin paddle – an Australian experience
Post‐operative flap monitoring includes flap colour, capillary refill time, temperature, doppler signal and pinprick test.2 Free flaps can be divided into skin flaps (e.g. fasciocutaneous/myocutaneous) with an overlying skin paddle and muscles flaps with or without an overlying skin graft (e.g. gracilis flap). Currently, there is a paucity of studies comparing the salvage rates of threatened muscle flaps versus flaps with an overlying skin paddle. The aim of this study was to determine whether salvage rates were higher in skin flaps, as opposed to muscle flaps, due to the overlying skin paddle allowing for better visual post‐operative flap monitoring and more timely recognition of the threatened flap.