Main Article Content
Islands, Perforator Flap, Hyperemia, Fascia, Pain
Background: The keystone perforator island flap (KPIF) and its design variations developed as a clinical necessity for reconstructing large surgical defects. This article focuses on melanoma management in 28 cases taken from a series of up to 3,000 established over 20+ years of clinical experience.
Method: The dermatome is the basis of the keystone success where vessels accompany nerves. Keystone perforator island flaps are fascial lined, supporting vascular integrity. The design resembles two conjoined VY island flaps facilitating closure under tension as the perforator zones (perforazones) are oriented vertically with a stronger hydrostatic supply than the horizontally aligned subdermal plexus. Tissue match is important and contributes to a sound aesthetic outcome.
Results: KPIF reconstructions are pain free even though tension is noted. KPIF reconstructions are almost anaesthetic for the complete dimension of the wound. This is explained by the simple fact that temporary interruption of somatic innervation in this design recovers over a few months in the same way as any longitudinal incision regains its nerve supply. Oedema in the KPIF is rarely observed and could possibly be a sympathetic affect. Reactive hyperaemia is evident in irradiated tissue, breaking another rule in plastic and reconstructive surgery in irradiated tissue where loco–regional reconstruction is contraindicated.
Conclusion: With an intact vascular system associated with autonomic and somatic support—including lymphatic drainage, the Gillies principles of replacing ‘like for like’ and the ‘next best tissue is the next best tissue’—reconstructive design principles are maintained.
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