Island rat groin flaps with twisted pedicles

Demirseren M. E. , Yenidunya M. O. , Yenidunya S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol.114, no.5, pp.1190-1194, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 114 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/01.prs.0000135877.48241.5a
  • Journal Name: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1190-1194


Clinical attempts are made to avoid rotating a flap and twisting the pedicle for fear of perfusion compromise. Torsion of an island rat groin flap pedicle is not a well-recognized experimental entity. The authors describe the results of island flap rotation with pedicle twisting in the rat groin flap model. Forty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups of 10 animals each. In each group, bilateral groin flaps were elevated; one flap was sutured in place without rotation and the contralateral flap was subjected to 180, 270, 360, or 720 degrees of rotation. Blood flow within the flaps was assessed by laser Doppler flowmetry, and flap edema and necrosis were determined 10 days postoperatively. No differences were noted between control flaps and those subjected to 180 and 270 degrees of rotation. Although flaps subjected to 360 degrees of rotation demonstrated a large amount of postoperative edema and congestion of the subcutaneous tissue with some histologic changes, all flaps in this group survived. Measured flap weights at death were different from those of controls. All flaps subjected to 720 degrees of rotation underwent ischemic necrosis. Because of the differences between human skin architecture and rat skin architecture it cannot be concluded that similar results would be observed in any human skin flap. There might be three important points arising from this study of unknowingly twisted island groin flap pedicles in the rat model: (1) twisting of less than 360 degrees has no effect on flap survival; (2) twisting of 720 degrees is always associated with skin flap necrosis; (3) twisting of 360 degrees, although associated with some changes, does not cause skin flap necrosis.