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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Sep 15;118(4):961-6.

Venous supercharging of heterodigital artery flap.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, USA.



The heterodigital artery island flap is a popular method of reconstruction for finger defects. Postoperative venous congestion is a common problem.


The authors present a technique to augment venous drainage of the flap. Briefly, the flap is harvested along with a dorsal vein that is then anastomosed to a recipient vein in an end-to-end fashion, after flap transfer and insetting. Using this technique, seven patients were operated on, ranging in age from 5 to 35 years (average age, 23 years).


All flaps survived with no postoperative flap congestion, fully satisfying the reconstructive requirements. By this modification, skeletonization of the digital artery of the flap pedicle is safe if that approach is preferred, since there is no need to harvest periarterial fat for venous drainage.


Providing good harmony with conventional methods and microsurgery, inclusion of a vein with the heterodigital artery island flap allows a more reliable and safer reconstructive choice for finger defects. Such a modification converts the unconventional venous circulation of the heterodigital artery island flap to a more physiologic one.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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