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2022 Oct 05

Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med

Anterolateral Thigh Free Flap Versus Thigh Split Thickness Skin Graft: Comparison of Morbidity in the First 30 Days.


Benjamin T, Zebolsky AL, Haddad AF, Ochoa E, Plonowska-Hirschfeld KA, Park AM, Seth R, Knott DP
Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2022 Oct 05.
PMID: 36201233.


An anterior thigh split thickness skin graft (AT-STSG) is frequently needed to close the radial forearm free flap (RFFF) donor site, conferring morbidity to two extremities. The anterolateral thigh (ALT) free flap is virtually always closed primarily. To compare donor site pain, sensation, motor function, and cosmesis associated with the AT-STSG and the ALT. Patients undergoing an ALT or an RFFF with AT-STSG were enrolled in a prospective observational cohort study. Pain, tingling, numbness, lower extremity function, and subjective donor site cosmetic satisfaction were measured at 1 week and 1 month postoperation using validated instruments. Forty-eight patients were included, with a mean age of 64.2 years (female 31.2%). There were no differences in age or medical comorbidities between the two groups. The average donor defect was 50 and 180 cm for the AT-STSG and ALT cohorts, respectively. At 1 week and 1 month postoperatively, we did not detect a difference in donor site pain, pruritus, numbness or tingling, lower extremity function, or subjective cosmetic satisfaction between the two cohorts. ALT primary donor site morbidity, including pain, sensory function, motor function, and cosmesis, is equivalent to RFFF secondary donor site morbidity at 1 week and 1 month postoperatively.