Reappraisal of Perforasomes of the Superficial Femoral, Descending Genicular, and Saphenous Arteries and Clinical Applications to Locoregional Reconstruction

Anita T. Mohan, Lin Zhu, Mohamed Morsy, Yoo Joon Sur, Gregory J. Michalak, Nirusha Lachman, Samir Mardini, Michel Saint-Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The superficial femoral artery and medial thigh region has been an underused donor site for perforator flaps. This study evaluated perforasomes of the superficial femoral artery and its principal branches to review the clinical applications for locoregional reconstruction. Methods: Twenty-six fresh cadaveric lower extremities were dissected. Perforator size and anatomical course from the superficial femoral artery, descending genicular artery, and saphenous artery branch were documented. Perforators were selectively injected with iodinated contrast to assess vascular territories using computed tomography. A retrospective chart review was conducted on consecutive patients (2014 to 2015). Results: One hundred thirty perforators were mapped in the medial thigh region. Eleven extended medial thigh perforator flaps and 15 hemicircumferential flaps were harvested. The mean distance from the joint line was 16.7 ± 7.3 cm. Perforators arose from the superficial femoral artery (62 percent), saphenous artery branch (23 percent), and descending genicular artery (15 percent). Superficial femoral artery perforators were located around the mid and proximal thigh region (p < 0.001). The median perforasome surface area was 244 cm 2 , representing 36 percent in hemithigh flaps with preferential filling in the anteromedial region. Proximal perforasomes were the smallest. Perforasome areas based on vessel origin were comparable; however, saphenous artery perforators had a broader perforasome compared with descending genicular (p = 0.01) and superficial femoral artery perforators (p = 0.04). Six clinical case examples were presented for knee, thigh, and lower leg reconstruction. Conclusions: The superficial femoral artery or its branches can provide nontraditional reconstructive perforator flap options in regional reconstruction. They can be simple to harvest using a free-style approach, do not require preoperative imaging, offer a one-stage reconstructive method with low morbidity, and obviate the need for microsurgery or muscle flaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613E-627E
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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