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Skin paddle vascularity of free fibula flap - A study of 386 cases and a classification based on contribution from axial vessels of the leg

By Prabha S Yadav, Quazi G Ahmad, Vinay K Shankhdhar and G I Nambi

Abstract

Objective: The skin paddle of the free fibula flap receives its vascular supply from septocutaneous perforators, musculocutaneous perforators or from both, and these perforators might originate from the peroneal or posterior tibial vessels or from both. The objective of this study was to classify the skin paddles based on the dominance of vascular contribution by these axial vessels through their different perforator systems. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of 5-year data of 386 free fibula flaps used in oro-mandibular reconstruction was done and the skin paddle vascularity was studied. While majority of the skin paddles received their blood supply from the peroneal septocutaneous perforators, a few had their dominant supply from the soleus musculocutaneous perforators in addition to peroneal septocutaneous perforators. In few cases, the soleus musculocutaneous perforators were the sole source of blood supply to the skin paddle. The limitation in this study was the inability to augment the clinical observation with cadaveric study. Results: The skin paddle of the free fibula flap was classified into four different types (a-d) based on the dominance of vascular contribution by axial vessels of the leg. Conclusion: The skin paddle of the free fibula flap has reliable blood supply, but a thorough knowledge of the variations in vascular pattern of the skin paddle is required especially to salvage the larger paddles used in the reconstruction complex oro-mandibular defects

Topics: Free fibula flap, musculocutaneous perforators, septo cutaneous perforators, skin paddle, vascular supply, Surgery, RD1-811
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.4103/0970-0358.96586
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:f29fd5cdc4b04dd3aa0f2844b1bc3734
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