Send to

Choose Destination
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 Feb;131(2):293-302. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31827786bc.

Comparison of anterolateral thigh, lateral arm, and parascapular free flaps with regard to donor-site morbidity and aesthetic and functional outcomes.

Author information

Department of Hand, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Trauma Center, BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen, Ludwigshafen, Germany.



The purpose of this study was to compare the morbidity and the aesthetic and functional outcomes of primarily closed donor sites of three commonly used free flaps.


Sixty patients who had undergone free flap reconstruction (20 anterolateral thigh, 20 parascapular, and 20 lateral arm flaps) were included in this study. The average follow-up time was 50 months (range, 6 to 135 months). Patients assessed subjective donor-site morbidity and satisfaction with the aesthetic and overall functional result using a self-report questionnaire. Outcome measures were the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire; the Lower Extremity Functional Scale; and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey questionnaire.


No significant differences in range of motion or in questionnaire, scale, or survey scores were detected. Sensory disorders were present in 100 percent (lateral arm), 90 percent (anterolateral thigh), and 45 percent (parascapular). No correlation to flap size was detected (187 cm for parascapular and anterolateral thigh, and 70 cm for lateral arm flaps). Postoperative complications were seromas (parascapular, n = 2), hematomas (parascapular, n = 1; lateral arm, n = 2), and dehiscence (n = 4 for each flap). Patient satisfaction with the donor site was rated 2.9 for lateral arm and anterolateral thigh flaps and 2.5 for parascapular flaps (1 = excellent, 6 = poor). Seventy percent of anterolateral thigh, 85 percent of lateral arm, and 100 percent of parascapular flap patients would choose their flap again.


In terms of reducing donor-site morbidity, the parascapular flap represents a valuable alternative to the anterolateral thigh and lateral arm flaps, but side positioning and increased seroma are drawbacks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center