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The radial forearm flap

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  • Level of Difficulty: Companion
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Interactive Surgery


Described in 1981 by the Chinese authors Yang Kuofan et al. [1] as a free flap, then in 1982 by Lu et al. [2] as a retrograde flow pedicle flap, this fasciocutaneous flap is designed at the level of the anterior and external faces of the forearm, and vascularized by the radial artery via a network of septal arteries. Prior to utilization it must be reversed on its distal pedicle. This flap allows repairing cutaneous substance loss of the whole hand and fingers. The emergence of the Chinese flap in the 1980’s resulted in a regression of the Mac Gregor groin flap that was widely used at this time [3,4]. Nevertheless, other forearm flaps, less “expensive” in terms of vascular involvement [5–9] have reduced its indications. The Chinese flap however keeps two essential indications: the multi-finger important defect that no other forearmflapmay cover; and composite substance loss of the thumb (despite the fact that the Chinese flap shares these indications with interosseous artery composite flaps).

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Correspondence to D. Le Nen.

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Le Nen, D., Hu, W., Liot, M. et al. The radial forearm flap. Interact Surg 2, 108–115 (2007).

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