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The thoracodorsal artery perforator flap: anatomic basis and clinical application.

Authors
  • Heitmann, Christoph
  • Guerra, Aldo
  • Metzinger, Stephan W
  • Levin, L Scott
  • Allen, Robert J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annals of plastic surgery
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2003
Volume
51
Issue
1
Pages
23–29
Identifiers
PMID: 12838121
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Based on the dissection of 20 fresh cadavers, the authors have detailed further the vascular anatomy of the thoracodorsal artery and its cutaneous perforator vessels. The thoracodorsal artery showed a constant bifurcation into a horizontal branch and a lateral branch, located on the deep surface of the latissimus dorsi muscle 4 cm (range, 3-6 cm) distal to the inferior scapular border and 2.5 cm (range, 1-4 cm) medial to the lateral free margin of the muscle. In 20 specimens there was a total of 64 musculocutaneous perforators larger than 0.5 mm. Thirty-six perforators (56%) originated from the lateral branch and 28 perforators (44%) originated from the horizontal branch. All perforators originated within a distance of 8 cm from the neurovascular hilus and ran in proximity with the horizontal or lateral branches. In 11 dissections (55%) there was also a direct cutaneous branch originating from the extramuscular course of the thoracodorsal artery before the neurovascular hilus. This cutaneous branch did not pierce the latissimus muscle but rounded the lateral muscle edge and supplied the overlying subcutaneous tissue and skin. It is hoped that the constant anatomy will encourage surgeons in the future to use the thoracodorsal artery perforator flap more often.

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