The Dorsal Scapular Artery Perforator Flap: A Complete Muscle-sparing Technique

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Global Open, Vol. 9 (2021)

Keywords
Authors
  • Kirsten L. Marr, MD
  • From the * Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Aaron Varga, BSc
  • † Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Danielle O. Dumestre, MD, FRCSC
  • From the * Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Abstract

Summary:. Cervical and thoracic spine reconstruction can be a difficult area to provide stable soft tissue coverage. Historically, trapezius myocutaneous flaps and trapezius muscle turnover flaps have proven to be reliable and versatile methods for the reconstruction of these areas. However, sequelae such as restriction of shoulder movement have been reported, as well as unsightly “humpback” contour deformities from turnover flap bulk. The use of the trapezius muscle for coverage has evolved to include descriptions of a trapezius perforator flap to address some of the issues of donor site morbidity, as it is described as a muscle-sparing technique. Although described as “muscle-sparing,” these approaches nonetheless involve sacrifice of trapezius muscle overlying the pedicle as that musculature is “deroofed” and divided off the pedicle during dissection. In this article, we present a detailed technical description of our novel technique to the trapezius perforator flap using a dorsal scapular artery flap for spinal reconstruction that is truly, completely muscle-sparing. This technique may prove useful for those patients in which even minimal disruption of trapezius muscle fibers is undesirable.

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