A New Flap Prefabrication Model Prefabricated Neural-Island Flap

SÖNMEZ E., Bayram F. C., ŞAFAK T.

ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY, vol.66, no.4, pp.364-369, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 66 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/sap.0b013e3181dc83aa
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.364-369
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of a new flap prefabrication method. A peripheral nerve was implanted into the subcutaneous tissue to prefabricate a skin flap that was supplied solely by the intrinsic vasculature of that nerve after a preliminary delay period. The study was composed of 2 parts. In the first part, anatomic dissections were performed to discover the anatomy and the potential nerve to be used as a pedicle for prefabrication of a skin flap. At the end of these dissections, we decided to use the sciatic nerve as the vascular source and the lumbar region skin for prefabrication of the flap. In the second part, 2 groups were formed. In the first group (prefabricated neural island flap group) after dissection of the nerve, it was transected from its distal part, rotated to the dorsum of the rat, and implanted into the subcutaneous tissue of the skin flap prepared in this area. The delay procedure was completed in 2 periods and at the end of the second delay period, the neural island flap was harvested solely based on the nerve itself. In the second group, the same procedures were repeated with the exception that the sciatic nerve supplying the island flap was ligated and transected just after the second delay period, and the skin flap was replaced in situ as a graft. The mean survival of the skin flaps in the prefabricated neural island flap group was 93.9% +/- 4.40%, whereas the survival in the graft group was 0.9% +/- 1.44% on postoperative day 7. The microangiographic and the histologic findings were in accordance with direct observation. In this study, we have experimentally demonstrated that, a skin flap that is supplied solely by the intrinsic vasculature of a nerve can be prefabricated after the implantation of that nerve into the subcutaneous tissue of that flap after a preliminary delay period. We termed this "Prefabricated Neural-Island Flap." We believe that the clinical application of this new flap will gradually develop on the basis of further experimental studies.