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Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 127353, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/127353
Review Article

The Clinical Application of Anterolateral Thigh Flap

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Medical College and Hospital, Tainan 70428, Taiwan

Received 11 July 2011; Accepted 25 August 2011

Academic Editor: Adriaan O. Grobbelaar

Copyright © 2011 Yao-Chou Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The anterolateral thigh flap can provide a large skin paddle nourished by a long and large-caliber pedicle and can be harvested by two-team work. Most importantly, the donor-site morbidity is minimal. However, the anatomic variations decreased its popularity. By adapting free-style flap concepts, such as preoperative mapping of the perforators and being familiar with retrograde perforator dissection, this disadvantage had been overcome gradually. Furthermore, several modifications widen its clinical applications: the fascia lata can be included for sling or tendon reconstruction, the bulkiness could be created by including vastus lateralis muscle or deepithelization of skin flap, the pliability could be increased by suprafascial dissection or primary thinning, the pedicle length could be lengthening by proximally eccentric placement of the perforator, and so forth. Combined with these technical and conceptual advancements, the anterolateral thigh flap has become the workhorse flap for soft-tissue reconstructions from head to toe.