Is Sural Artery Flap an Answer for Soft Tissue Coverage of Lower Limb Defects?

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Author(s): Sana saeed1, Farid ahmad khan2, Izza khan3, Sundas javeed4, Komal saeed5

Received: 25/07/2021 | Published: 20/08/2021 | Pages: 49-55 |

Sural artery flap has proved to be a reliable option to reconstruct soft tissue defects of lower leg with no significant morbidity at donor site. Various modifications of flap harvesting technique like extended, delayed proximally /distally based, islanded/peninsular, nerve sparing have been described in various studies. This study highlights modifications in a single series and their outcomes in lower limb defects Methods: This is a retrospective observational study including 35 patients of either gender conducted at Plastic Surgery Department, Services Hospital Lahore. Lower extremity defects requiring soft tissue coverage enrolled from March 2020 to March 2021 were included. Demographic data, clinical details about the defect and post-operative complications were noted. Clinical outcomes of the flap on basis of flap size, operative time, wound healing percentage and complication rate were observed. Results: 35 patients (28 males and 7 females) of mean age of 31.62±13.93 years were included in this case series. The most common cause of lower limb defects was trauma. The ankle and dorsum of foot was the most common location that was covered with extended reverse sural artery flap. Mean flap size was 131.48± 29.46cm2. Mean operative time was 79.71±18.78 min. The complication rate was 14%. Complete wound healing was 97%±3. Conclusion: Sural artery flap is a reliable and versatile option for resurfacing soft tissue defects of lower limb. Various modifications can be wisely utilized to increase the efficacy of flap with lesser complications, extended coverage and less operative time especially in an era of COVID-19 infection.