Reconstruction of Extensive Soft Tissue Defects of Lower Extremity With the Extended Anterolateral Thigh Flap

Jong Ho Kim, Hyokyung Yoo, Seokchan Eun

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1 Scopus citations


The anterolateral thigh flap is a classic flap used for various reconstruction defects. However, the flap viability of extended large skin paddles (ie, 240 cm2) was doubted by many surgeons. This study reports successful experience of reconstructing extensive soft tissue defects of lower extremity using extended large skin paddles. Twelve consecutive patients who had undergone reconstruction of defects using an extended anterolateral thigh flap were identified. Patient characteristics (age, sex, defect location, injured structures, and type of flap) and outcome data were analyzed retrospectively. One artery and 2 accompanying veins were anastomosed to vascularize each flap. Follow-up periods ranged from 10 to 91 months postoperatively. The average size of the flaps was 268.75 cm2 (range = 220-391 cm2). All flaps were perforator flaps with one perforator except that 2 perforators were used in 3 patients. Two patients suffered partial flap necrosis of the distal portion with delayed healing. In conclusion, the extended anterolateral thigh flap is a considerable option for massive defects requiring composite tissue coverage. This flap is advantageous for reconstructing various complex defects in the lower extremities, providing a pliable and vascularized tissue to cover exposed extensive defects including tendons, nerves, and bones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • anterolateral thigh flap
  • extended flap
  • lower extremity


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