, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 159-163
Date: 02 May 2007

Reverse Radial Forearm Fascial Flap With Radial Artery Preservation

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The reverse radial forearm fascial (RRFF) flap is widely used in soft-tissue reconstruction of the hand. The traditional RRFF flap incorporates the radial artery from the forearm and is perfused by retrograde flow through the palmar arch. In patients with an abnormal Allen test because of an incomplete palmar arch, the traditional RRFF flap is contraindicated unless a vein graft is used to reconstruct the radial artery. A simpler alternative approach for hand reconstruction in such patients is a distally based RRFF flap based on radial artery perforators, which preserves the radial artery. We used RRFF flaps based on radial artery perforators in five patients who had palmar or dorsal soft-tissue loss. All five recovered full hand function, and only one had any complications (full-thickness skin graft loss at recipient site). The RRFF flap based on distal radial artery perforators is suitable for thin coverage of soft-tissue defects in hands with either a complete or an incomplete palmar arch.