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Prior to the advent of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of soft-tissue sarcomas, surgical treatment consisted of extremity amputation. Advances in treatment modalities such as radiotherapy allowed more limited resections with similar survival rates. As local control is the primary objective in the management of these neoplasms, distally located tumours pose a particular reconstructive challenge. Limb preservation is now possible due to the availability of microsurgical techniques. A retrospective analysis was conducted assessing the suitability of the free anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap for distal-extremity reconstruction after wide local excision of sarcomas. Nine patients were included in the study with a median follow-up period of 36 months. In all patients, tumours were located at or distal to the elbow and knee, respectively. All flaps survived. In one patient, the ALT donor site was addressed with a split-thickness skin graft after wound dehiscence was observed postoperatively after initial primary closure. The free ALT perforator flap is an ideal flap for the reconstruction of distal-extremity defects after sarcoma resection as it allows coverage of large skin defects with minimal donor-site morbidity. Its thinness addresses the shallow defects typically encountered in the distal extremity and thus avoids the bulkiness encountered after reconstruction with musculocutaneous flaps.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bjps.2010.08.005
View details for Web of Science ID 000289284800021
View details for PubMedID 20829135