Semin Plast Surg 2020; 34(03): 184-191
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715153
Review Article

Propeller Flaps in the Upper Extremity: Arm and Forearm Reconstruction

Gerardo Malzone
1  Unit of Plastic and Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Health Sciences, “Careggi” University Hospital, Florence, Italy
,
Marco Innocenti
1  Unit of Plastic and Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Health Sciences, “Careggi” University Hospital, Florence, Italy
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

The propeller flap is an island of skin that is raised on its pedicle (most commonly a single perforator) and can rotate 180 degrees to cover a soft tissue defect. Thanks to these features, the propeller flap brings reliable tissue from outside of the zone of injury while sparing the main vessels of the upper extremity. This technique limits the donor site to the same limb, captures skin characterized by having the same color and texture, does not necessarily need a microvascular anastomosis, and overall reduces the operating time and surgical cost. Our intent here is to present 27 cases with different soft tissue defects of the upper arm and forearm that have been successfully reconstructed using propeller flaps. The surgical technique, with emphasis on the anatomy of the upper arm, is described. In particular, use of a freestyle approach to customize a perforator-based propeller flap to cover defects from small to medium size is detailed. In our experience, the use of a perforator propeller flap in the upper extremity for resurfacing represents both a very reliable and aesthetically pleasant option.



Publication History

Publication Date:
22 September 2020 (online)

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