Lateral Thigh and Anterolateral Thigh Free Tissue Transfer Workup

Updated: Jul 09, 2021
  • Author: Joseph L Leach, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • Question the patient about any issues that may disqualify him or her from surgery.

  • Evaluate previous injury or surgery to the thigh.

  • Prepare the patient for a 1-2 week hospital stay with a suction drain in the thigh.

  • No specific lab studies or imaging studies, apart from those indicated for a prolonged procedure under a general anesthetic, are necessary for either thigh free flap.

  • Pinch testing determines the amount of fat in the donor and recipient and also in areas of the flap.

  • Because of an abundance of adipose tissue in the area, the lateral thigh flap is often twice as thick in females. The anterolateral thigh flap is generally less thick.

  • Using a Doppler device to locate the main perforating vessel in the lateral thigh is useful, although not critical. Doppler or color Doppler studies have also been used to identify perforators to the anterolateral thigh flap.