Perforator Branch Flaps

Atsushi Imaizumi, Hideki Kadota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Modern microsurgical reconstruction aims to achieve functional and satisfactory esthetic outcome and the primary thinning procedure results in one-stage reconstruction. However, current techniques are lacking preoperative knowledge of the peripheral perforator in the adipose layer. We hypothesized that the combination of the knowledge of microvasculature and visualization of such small vessels in the adipose layer by Color Doppler ultrasonography (CDU) will make the dissection of these vessels with simultaneous flap thinning of the perforator branch flap technique feasible and provide consistent results in variety of flaps. Methods: Retrospective chart review of consecutive cases in which perforator branch flap technique was used from 2011 to 2019 was conducted. Entire course of branch of the perforator in the adipose layer were traced up to the dermis by CDU, and marked on the skin surface. Based on CDU finding, perforator branches were dissected in the adipose layer simultaneously with the primary thinning of the skin flap. Results: Thirty perforator branch flaps in 28 cases were elevated. Courses of the perforator branches detected by CDU accurately corresponded to surgical findings in all cases. There was no total flap loss in any of the cases and partial necrosis in one case. In five flaps, a secondary debulking procedure was needed. Conclusions: The combination of knowledge of microvasculature with CDU guidance has made the perforator branch technique possible and allowed to safely transfer the skin flap from various body areas to the defect, thereby, achieving “like with like” reconstruction in one-stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1262
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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