The vascular basis of the thoracodorsal artery perforator flap
ABSTRACT Musculocutaneous perforator flaps, or more simply, perforator flaps, have become increasingly popular in microsurgery because of numerous advantages, including reduced donor-site morbidity. The thoracodorsal artery perforator flap is a cutaneous flap based on cutaneous perforators of the thoracodorsal vessels. The objective of this study was to document the vascular anatomy of this flap in human cadaveric studies.
The anatomy of the perforators of the thoracodorsal artery was studied using a modified lead oxide-gelatin injection technique in 15 fresh human cadavers. Each fresh cadaver was injected with lead oxide, gelatin, and water, and then cooled to 4 degrees C for 24 hours before dissection. The torso was dissected to identify all cutaneous perforators in the region of the back and flank.
The mean area of the primary and secondary zones supplied by the thoracodorsal artery was 255 cm2 and 345 cm2, respectively. The mean length of the major and minor axes was 18 cm and 13 cm, respectively. The maximum dimensions of the skin that could potentially be supplied by the thoracodorsal artery averaged 600 cm2, with a major axis length of 28 cm and a minor axis length of 27 cm. A mean number of 5.5 perforators with a mean diameter of 0.9 mm (range, 0.5 to 1.5 mm) supplied this zone. The ratio of musculocutaneous to septocutaneous perforators from the thoracodorsal artery was 3:2. The length of the thoracodorsal pedicle when harvested along with the perforator was 14.0 cm, with the vessel diameter being 2.8 mm at the origin. The most proximal perforator was seen at the level of the inferior angle of the scapula, 3.0 cm medial to the anterior border of the muscle. The intramuscular course of the perforators averaged 5 cm (range, 3 to 7 cm). Septocutaneous perforators from the thoracodorsal artery supplying the skin in addition to the musculocutaneous perforators were seen in 60 percent of specimens.
The thoracodorsal artery perforator flap is a reliable cutaneous perforator flap that is very useful in a wide variety of clinical applications.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction The latissimus dorsi muscle flap is a type V according to Mathes and Nahai. It is vascularized by a proximal main pedicle represented by the thoraco-dorsal pedicle and pedicle distal accessory represented by the dorsal branches of the posterior intercostal arteries. The main thoraco-dorsal pedicle has a descending branch and a transverse branch. This anatomical study clarifies the muscular territory vascularized by the transverse branch of thoraco-dorsal artery for a secondary use after harvesting a thoraco-dorsal artery perforator flap or a muscle-sparing latissimus dorsi flap. Material and methods Our study focused on ten dissections latissimus dorsi muscle taken from five fresh cadavers chest, carried out within the University Department of Anatomy. The descending branch of thoraco-dorsal artery was ligated, the transverse branch was cannulated and injected with a mixture of barium sulfate/gelatin. After freezing, a static angiotomodensitométrie (3D) of each flap was performed. Results The average muscular surface vascularized by the transverse branch is measured at 80% (77% minimum value, maximum value 83%) of the complete latissimus dorsi muscle. Intermuscular connections between the two branches of thoraco-dorsal pedicle were shown. Conclusion The use of a ipsilateral latissimus dorsi muscle is a therapeutic option after harvesting a thoraco-dorsal artery perforator flap (TAP) or a muscle-sparing latissimus dorsi flap (MSLD-flap).Annales de Chirurgie Plastique Esthétique 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.anplas.2014.05.005 · 0.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Thoracodorsal artery perforator (TAP) flaps without latissimus dorsi muscle - have been used for reconstruction of the extremities, head and neck as free style flaps, and as pedicled flaps for reconstruction of the chest wall and axillary wounds. This retrospective study aimed to analyse the clinical applications and relevant anatomic findings of TAP flaps. METHODS: From April 2007 to August 2011, 67 free or pedicled TAP flaps were transferred in 67 patients for reconstruction of wounds of the extremities, chest wall and axilla. Eight were used as free flaps for reconstruction of extremities, and 59 used as pedicled flaps for reconstruction of axillary or chest wounds. Patient ages ranged from 7 to 55 years (26.04 ± 12.83). Perforator arteries were detected and identified with a hand-held Doppler. The size of flaps ranged from 6 by 9 to 14 by 18 cm ((8.66 ± 2.05) by (12.62 ± 2.03)). Flaps were designed with the perforator artery included, with all flaps based on one or two perforator arteries. RESULTS: All of the flaps survived. There were no problems with vascular spasm or occlusion. Significant venous congestion was not observed in any of the cases. Two cases developed minor wound dehiscence but healed with conservative therapy. None of the donor sites developed seromas. CONCLUSIONS: The thoracodorsal artery flap without associated latissimus dorsi muscle can provide a thin, large and reliable flap with robust blood supply. The TAP flap can significantly reduce donor site morbidity.Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery 10/2012; 66(2). DOI:10.1016/j.bjps.2012.09.005 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background The lateral thoracic flap was first studied in the mid-1970s but its use has been limited because of pedicle anatomical variations. However, after the development of lymph node transfer surgery, the axilla/upper lateral thorax presented as a promising donor area. Through a detailed anatomical study, the lateral thoracic flap was evaluated regarding its vascularization and composition. Later, it was used for pedicle and free flap reconstructions. Methods A total of 40 flaps were dissected in fresh cadavers and the characteristics of the lateral thoracic pedicle and its relationship to the upper lateral thoracic axillary lymph nodes (LTLN) were analyzed. We performed six pedicle flap reconstructions around the shoulder area and a free lymph node transfer for lower limb lymphedema. Results In the cadaveric dissections, the lateral thoracic pedicle branched off the axillary vessels and was found to be a primary level I axillary lymph node irrigator before reaching the skin. The cutaneous portion of the artery was present in 87.5% of the dissections. Arterial caliber was an average of 1.3 and venous, 2.6 mm. Five to seven lymph nodes were isolated with each pedicle and a lymph fasciocutaneous flap could be designed. In seven clinical cases, all of the flaps survived. Functioning lymph nodes were visualized on lymphoscintigraphy after their transfer to the ankle. Donor area had an inconspicuous evolution. Conclusion Lateral thoracic flap is a feasible flap with low donor area morbidity in a concealed region that can be harvested with upper LTLN for transplantation.Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 06/2014; DOI:10.1055/s-0034-1372482 · 1.01 Impact Factor