Reverse-flow island flap from the thenar area of the hand

Shohei Omokawa, Takanori Takaoka, Koji Shigematsu, Yuji Inada, Yosuhito Tanaka, Hiroshi Yajima, Yoshinori Takakura
Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 2002, 18 (8): 659-64
A reverse-flow island flap from the thenar eminence of the hand was applied in six patients to treat palmar skin defects, and amputation injuries of the thumb. There was one female and five males, and the patients' ages at the time of surgery averaged 48 years. A 3 x 2 to 5 x 3.5-cm fasciocutaneous flap from the radial aspect of the thenar eminence, located over the abductor pollicis brevis muscle, was designed and transferred in a retrograde fashion, to cover skin and soft-tissue defects of the thumb. The flap was based on the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery and, in three patients, was made sensate by the palmar branch of the superficial radial nerve. Follow-up periods averaged 61 months. The postoperative course was uneventful, and all the flaps survived without significant complications. The donor site was primarily closed in five patients, and one patient required flap coverage. A reverse island flap from the thenar area is easily elevated, contains durable fasciocutaneous structures, and has good color and texture, matching to the finger pulp. This flap offers a good alternative for reconstruction of palmar skin and soft-tissue defects of the thumb in selected patients.

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