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Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016 Mar 22;4(3):e661. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000611. eCollection 2016 Mar.

The Versatile Modiolus Perforator Flap.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway; and Department of Plastic Surgery, Lillebaelt Hospital and Odense University Hospital, Denmark.



Perforator flaps are well established, and their usefulness as freestyle island flaps is recognized. The whereabouts of vascular perforators and classification of perforator flaps in the face are a debated subject, despite several anatomical studies showing similar consistency. In our experience using freestyle facial perforator flaps, we have located areas where perforators are consistently found. This study is focused on a particular perforator lateral to the angle of the mouth; the modiolus and the versatile modiolus perforator flap.


A cohort case series of 14 modiolus perforator flap reconstructions in 14 patients and a color Doppler ultrasonography localization of the modiolus perforator in 10 volunteers.


All 14 flaps were successfully used to reconstruct the defects involved, and the location of the perforator was at the level of the modiolus as predicted. The color Doppler ultrasonography study detected a sizeable perforator at the level of the modiolus lateral to the angle of the mouth within a radius of 1 cm. This confirms the anatomical findings of previous authors and indicates that the modiolus perforator is a consistent anatomical finding, and flaps based on it can be recommended for several indications from the reconstruction of defects in the perioral area, cheek and nose.


The modiolus is a well-described anatomical area containing a sizeable perforator that is consistently present and readily visualized using color Doppler ultrasonography. We have used the modiolus perforator flap successfully for several indications, and it is our first choice for perioral reconstruction.

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