The distally based lesser saphenous venofasciocutaneous flap for ankle and heel reconstruction

Shao Liang Chen, Tim Mo Chen, Trong Duo Chou, Shyi Gen Chen, Hsian-Jenn Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Finding an appropriate soft-tissue grafting material to close a wound located over the ankle and heel can be a difficult task. The distally based lesser saphenous venofasciocutaneous flap mobilized from the posterior aspect of the upper leg, used as an island pedicle skin flap, can be useful for this purpose. The vascular supply to the flap is derived from the retrograde perfusion of the accompanying arteries of the lesser saphenous vein. These arteries descend along both sides of the lesser saphenous vein to the distal third of the leg, either terminating or anastomosing with the septocutaneous perforators of the peroneal artery. Between February of 1999 and March of 2001, four variants of this flap were applied in 21 individuals, including 11 fasciocutaneous, five fascial, three sensory, and two fasciomyocutaneous flaps. Skin defects among all patients were combined with bone, joint, and/or tendon exposure. The authors found that the flap was reliable and technically simple to design and execute. This one-stage procedure not only preserves the major arteries and the sural nerve of the injured leg, but it also has proved valuable for covering a weight-bearing heel and filling a deep defect, because it potentially provides protective sensation and a well-vascularized muscle fragment. When conventional local flaps are inadequate, this flap should be considered for its reliability and low associated morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1672
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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