Creating prefabricated flaps using tissue expanders in combination with the implantation of maximal blood flow vascular pedicles into suitable tissue areas represents a new tendency in the reconstruction of large skin defects. In 42 Chinchilla Bastard female rabbits weighing 3,700-4,600 g, skeletonized arteriovenous pedicles with maximal blood flow, dissected from the femoral and saphena magna bundles, were implanted underneath abdominal fasciocutaneous flaps. Oval tissue expanders of 250 ml were placed and fixed on the abdominal wall to expand these prefabricated flaps. The evaluation parameters were macroscopic observation, blood analysis, selective microangiography, histology, and scintigraphy. The study results showed that neovascularization in expanded prefabricated flaps was established from newly formed vessels generated from the implanted pedicles and their vascular connections with the originally available vasculature in the flap. After 20 days of prefabrication, the entirety of the expanded prefabricated flaps was perfused by blood flow supplied from newly implanted arteriovenous pedicles. The study indicated that an expanded prefabricated flap can be successfully created by the simultaneous implantation of a maximal blood flow pedicle in combination with flap expansion.
Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.