Use of dorsal intercostal artery perforator flap in the repair of back defects

J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2016;50(2):80-4. doi: 10.3109/2000656X.2015.1102737. Epub 2015 Nov 5.


Background: The dorsal intercostal artery perforator (DICAP) flap is a well-vascularised flap that is elevated above the dorsal branch of the vertebral segments of the posterior intercostal artery. The aim of this study was to repair back defects using DICAP flaps.

Materials and methods: Eight patients who had undergone reconstruction with DICAP flaps for defects located on the back of the torso due to conditions of various aetiologies between 2011-2014 were included in this study. Patient age and gender, aetiology of the condition, dimensions of the defect and the flap, site of the defect, and postoperative complications were recorded.

Results: Three females and five males were included in this study. The age of the patients ranged between 19-71 years (mean = 53.6 years). The aetiology was skin tumour in five patients and pressure wound, gunshot injury, and plate screw exposition subsequent to spinal surgery in one patient each. The sites of the defects were successfully closed in all patients, and no flap loss was observed in any patient.

Conclusions: DICAP flaps have some advantages compared to conventional muscle and muscle skin flaps, such as greater protection of muscle functions, less invasiveness, and lower donor site morbidity. This flap has a high mobilisation capacity due to its elevation above nine bilateral perforator arteries. Therefore, the DICAP flap is useful for the repair of median and paramedian back defects. Based on its advantages, it is suggested that the DICAP flap should be considered as a useful option for the repair of back defects.

Keywords: back reconstruction; dorsal intercostal artery perforator flap; flap.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Back / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perforator Flap / transplantation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult