Preservation of lateral thoracic artery to improve vascular supply of distal skin without compromising pedicle length in harvesting pectoralis major myocutaneous flap.

Abstract

The pectoralis major myocutaneous (PM) flap is supplied by three arterial systems. The lower chest skin of the PM flap is mainly supplied by the branches of lateral thoracic artery and internal mammary artery. The conventional harvesting technique for head and neck reconstruction utilizes single arterial supply from the pectoral branch of thoracoacromial artery. The distal skin island of PM flap is therefore compromised and requires indirect blood supply by communicating vessels. In harvesting the PM flap, the pectoralis minor muscle is divided to preserve the lateral thoracic artery and its blood supply to the lateral distal skin island of PM flap without compromising the pedicle length for head and neck reconstruction. Six PM flaps were harvested for reconstruction of head and neck defects with preservation of both the pectoral artery and lateral thoracic artery. The focal pint of swing of all six flaps was at the same point just below the mid-point of clavicle for both pectoral artery and lateral thoracic artery. The flaps can reach the oral cavity, tonsil or hypopharynx without limitation and there is no flap necrosis. In conclusion, the lateral thoracic artery can be preserved without compromising the pedicle length of PM flap. It is a recommended technique to improve the blood supply to the distal skin of PM flap.

Cite this paper

@article{Yuen2006PreservationOL, title={Preservation of lateral thoracic artery to improve vascular supply of distal skin without compromising pedicle length in harvesting pectoralis major myocutaneous flap.}, author={Anthony Po-Wing Yuen}, journal={Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS}, year={2006}, volume={59 12}, pages={1433-5} }