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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 986829, 7 pages
Review Article

Propeller Flaps: A Review of Indications, Technique, and Results

Chirurgia Plastica e Ricostruttiva, Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Oncologiche e Stomatologiche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via del Vespro, 129 90127 Palermo, Italy

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 5 May 2014; Published 26 May 2014

Academic Editor: Adrian Dragu

Copyright © 2014 Salvatore D'Arpa 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.


In the last years, propeller flaps have become an appealing option for coverage of a large range of defects. Besides having a more reliable vascular pedicle than traditional flap, propeller flaps allow for great freedom in design and for wide mobilization that extend the possibility of reconstructing difficult wounds with local tissues and minimal donor-site morbidity. They also allow one-stage reconstruction of defects that usually require multiple procedures. Harvesting of a propeller flap requires accurate patient selection, preoperative planning, and dissection technique. Complication rate can be kept low, provided that potential problems are prevented, promptly recognized, and adequately treated. This paper reviews current knowledge on propeller flaps. Definition, classification, and indications in the different body regions are discussed based on a review of the literature and on the authors’ experience. Details about surgical technique are provided, together with tips to avoid and manage complications.