Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Flap surgery involves transporting healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to another - often to areas that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement, and/or skeletal support. There are several different types of flap surgery methods that may be utilized, depending upon the location of the flap and the structures that need to be repaired. The types include the following:
Local flap - is located next to the wound; the skin remains attached at one end in order that the blood supply is left intact.
Regional flap - uses a section of tissue that is attached by a specific blood vessel.
Bone/soft tissue flap - this type of flap is often used when bone and the overlying skin are transported to a new location.
Musculocutaneous flap (muscle and skin flap) - this type of flap is often used when the area to be covered needs more bulk and an increased blood supply. This type of flap is often used to rebuild a breast following a mastectomy.
Microvascular free flap - involves detaching and reattaching skin and blood vessels from one site of the body to another site. Microsurgery is used to attach the blood vessels.