ABSTRACT: To provide algorithmic morphological data that enables safe elevation of the flow-through perforator flap, chimeric perforator flap in the thigh.
15 fresh cadavers were injected with a modified lead oxide-gelatin mixture for three-dimensional reconstruction using a spiral computed tomography scanner and specialized volume-rendering software (MIMICS). All of specimens were then dissected by layers. Angiography and photography were used to document the precise course, size, location, and type of individual perforators in the thigh region. The surface areas of cutaneous territories and perforator zones were measured and calculate with Photoshop and Scion Image.
The main artery supplying the thigh is femoral artery. There are (41 +/- 4.0) perforators whose outer diameters > or = 0.5 mm. These perforators have a superficial pedicle length of (4.2 +/- 1.7) cm. The average outer diameter is (0.8 +/- 0.1) mm. Each perforator supplies an average area of (44 +/- 6.4) cm2. There are lots of truly anastomoses among perforaors to form a subcutaneous network in the thigh.
The volume rendering technique is very useful for showing the subcutaneous network and preoperative flap design. The thigh appears to have the greatest potential for harvesting new or modified perforator flaps, especially, flow-through perforator flap or chimeric perforator flap.
Zhonghua zheng xing wai ke za zhi = Zhonghua zhengxing waike zazhi = Chinese journal of plastic surgery 03/2012; 28(2):96-100.