The Medial Sural Artery Perforator Flap: A Historical Trek from Ignominious to "Workhorse".

Journal: Archives Of Plastic Surgery

Rather than just another "review," this is intended to be an "overview" of the entire subject of the medial sural artery perforator (MSAP) flap as has been presented in the reconstructive literature from its inception in 2001 until the present, with any exceptions not purposefully overlooked. Unfortunately, the pertinent anatomy of the MSAP flap is always anomalous like most other perforator flaps, and perhaps even more variable. No schematic exists to facilitate the identification of a dominant musculocutaneous perforator about which to design the flap, so some adjunctive technology may be highly valuable for this task. However, if a relatively thin free flap is desirable for a small or moderate sized defect that requires a long pedicle with larger caliber vessels, the MSAP flap deserves consideration. Indeed, for many, this has replaced the radial forearm flap such as for partial tongue reconstruction. Most consider the donor site deformity, even if only a conspicuous scar on the calf, to be a contraindication. Yet certainly if used as a local flap for the knee, popliteal fossa, or proximal leg, or as a free flap for the ipsilateral lower extremity where a significant recipient site deformity already exists, can anyone really object that this is not a legitimate indication? As with any perforator flap, advantages and disadvantages exist, which must be carefully perused before a decision to use the MSAP flap is made. Perhaps not a "workhorse" flap for general use throughout the body, the MSAP flap in general may often be a valuable alternative.

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