Secondary reconstruction of lower extremity defects using local tissues is demanding and fraught with potential complications. Reconstructive efforts may be challenged by pre-existing scarring, paucity of recipient vessels, and patient co-morbidities limiting tolerance for prolonged and extensive surgery. We present a case of an 81-year-old male with a recurrent malignant melanoma invading the proximal and middle third of the tibia, who previously underwent reconstruction with the medial gastrocnemius muscle and a skin graft. After wide local re-excision and tibia fixation, a 12 cm x 28 cm reverse anterolateral thigh flap was used for soft tissue coverage. Because of the relatively large size of the flap based upon retrograde flow, we elected to supercharge the flap to augment its blood supply. Supercharging of the flap pedicle was accomplished by anastamosing the lateral circumflex femoral vessels to the anterior tibial vessels. The donor site wasclosed primarily. The flap survived entirely and successfully endured subsequent radiation therapy. Supercharging enhances reliability of the reverse anterolateral thigh flap, and thus, permits harvest of large tissue bulk for coverage of up to proximal two-thirds of the tibia.This is the first report describing successful supercharging of a large reverse anterolateral thigh flap which resulted in entire flap survival.
View details for DOI 10.1002/micr.20761
View details for Web of Science ID 000280085900010
View details for PubMedID 20238382