Review of the superficial circumflex iliac artery perforator flap: recommendations to the approach of a groin perforator flap

Main Article Content

Christopher Song
Sandeep Bhogesha
Colin Song

Keywords

microsurgery, perforator flap, groin, iliac artery

Abstract

Introduction: The superficial circumflex iliac artery perforator (SCIP) flap has gained in popularity due to its thinness and superior donor site scar. However, there exist inconsistencies in the description of the surgical anatomy of the SCIP flap. The aim of this quantitative review was to provide a summary of published evidence to the surgical approach to such flaps.


Methodology: A literature review of the MEDLINE® and Cochrane databases was conducted. Articles were assessed by two reviewers using predefined data fields and selected using specific inclusion criteria. The two authors independently reviewed the literature and discrepancies were resolved by consensus.


Results: Included for evaluation were 39 articles. Of these, 30 fulfilled the criteria for surgical dissection, 16 for surgical anatomy and nine for preoperative imaging. The arterial anatomy of the groin perforator flap is variable and in 0.9 per cent of cases the pedicle originates from the superficial inferior epigastric artery rather than the superficial circumflex iliac artery (SCIA). The flap pedicle length is probably dependent on patient build and the course of the source vessel, rather than which groin perforator it is based on. CT is the gold standard preoperative imaging and should be used given the anatomical unpredictability. Lymphatics under the inguinal ligament and medial to the femoral artery should be preserved.


Conclusion: This quantitative study provides a guide to safe groin perforator flap harvest and surgical pearls to consider for surgical planning. The usage of this flap remains novel and further long-term outcomes have yet to be established.

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