Current indications for abdominal-based flaps in hand and forearm reconstruction

Ryan D. Wagner, Logan Carr, David T. Netscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Extensive soft tissue loss or injury of the hand and upper extremity is a challenging reconstructive problem traditionally treated with abdominal-based pedicled flaps. Options for coverage included the groin flap based on the superficial circumflex iliac artery, the Scarpa's fascia flap based on the superficial inferior epigastric artery, and the paraumbilical perforator flap from the deep inferior epigastric artery perforators. Despite the ability to provide consistent and pliable soft tissue coverage with ease of elevation, these flaps have several disadvantages including restriction of mobility, requirement for multiple procedures, bulkiness and patient discomfort. With the advent of microsurgery, pedicled regional flaps, and off-the-shelf skin substitutes, the applications for these flaps have narrowed. However several indications still remain. These include: patient and facility factors which deter microsurgery, the absence of recipient vessels after injury, prior surgical use of recipient vessels, the need to preserve major vessels for future reconstruction, and large multi-surface wounds requiring coverage. In this review we detail these indications and provide case examples for each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2916-2921
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Groin flap
  • Pedicled flap
  • Scarpa's fascia flap
  • Upper extremity reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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