One of the basic skills of the reconstructive surgeon involves the shifting of soft tissues from an area of relative surplus to one where a deficit has been caused by trauma, surgical ablation of tumors, or disease processes. Largely by the use of trial and error methods, certain donor areas have been found which can supply this tissue over the course of one or more stages of delivery. The time honored delay of three weeks has served admirably as a rough yardstick of the requisite time for vascularization of a pedicle flap when moved to a new position, thus allowing detachment to be performed. Certain highly vascular areas, such as the face, have been found to support detachment of pedicle flaps in somewhat less time than this; whereas less vascular areas, such as the lower third of the leg, may well require a more prolonged period of vascular equilibration before
Thorne FL, Georgiade NG, Mladick R. The Use of Thermography in Determining Viability of Pedicle Flaps. Arch Surg. 1969;99(1):97–99. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340130099019
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