Free transfer of the radial forearm flap with preservation of the radial artery

Safak T., Akyurek M.

ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY, vol.45, no.1, pp.97-99, 2000 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00000637-200045010-00019
  • Title of Journal : ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY
  • Page Numbers: pp.97-99


One of the main disadvantages of the radial forearm flap is the sacrifice of a major artery. To overcome this drawback the authors describe a technique of free transfer of the flap with preservation of the radial artery. The flap is elevated as a distal row perforator-based fasciocutaneous flap with a very short segment of the radial artery included in the inverted-T-shaped arterial pedicle. The venous outflow of the flap is provided by the cephalic vein, with accompanying veins of the radial artery left behind. Although the donor radial artery is repaired primarily, the flap is transferred to reconstruct a soft-tissue defect resulting from the release of a neck contracture after radiotherapy in a 42-year-old patient who had previous excision of a mandibular osteosarcoma. The arterial anastomosis was performed end to end between the superior thyroid artery and one limb of the arterial pedicle, with the other limb ligated. The venous anastomosis was performed end to end between the cephalic vein and the external jugular vein. The flap survived completely and a satisfactory result was obtained. The radial artery is demonstrated to be patent long after surgery, both with Alien's test and with a Doppler examination. Considering the possible sequelae of the sacrifice of the radial artery, this technique is obviously advantageous to such patients, even with a nonsatisfactory preoperative Alien's test. This perforator-based radial forearm flap is very easy to raise and to transfer, with anastomoses of large-diameter vessels.