Free anterolateral thigh flap in pediatric patients

Bahar Bassiri Gharb, Christopher J. Salgado, Steven L. Moran, Antonio Rampazzo, Samir Mardini, Arun K. Gosain, Stefano Spanio Di Spilimbergo, Hung Chi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap represents a workhorse flap in reconstructive surgery. We describe our clinical experience with this flap in the pediatric population. A total of 20 patients with an average age of 9.5 years underwent a free ALT flap reconstruction. All flaps were commonly raised on 2 perforators. About 5 flaps were employed for head and neck reconstruction, 7 for upper and 8 for lower limb reconstruction. Traumatic defects and congenital malformations represented the predominant etiology. Sizable perforators were found in all patients. The caliber was smaller compared to adults, and the course of the perforator was shorter. There were no complete flap losses and no significant donor-site morbidity. Donor-site closure required closure with split-thickness skin grafts in 6 cases. Hypertrophic scars developed in 4 patients. Secondary procedures included flap debulking (5) and Z-plasties (2). In conclusion, children have well-developed perforators supplying the ALT flap. With proper technique, this flap can be harvested and employed safely and reliably for reconstruction of varied defects in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Anterolateral thigh flap
  • free flap
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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