Gluteal artery perforator flaps have gained popularity due to reliability, preservation of the muscle, versatility in flap design without restricting other flap options, and low donor-site morbidity in ambulatory patients and possibility of enabling future reconstruction in paraplegic patients. But the inconstant anatomy of the vascular plexus around the gluteal muscle makes it hard to predict how many perforators are present, what their volume of blood flow and size are, where they exit the overlying fascia, and what their course through the muscle will be. Without any prior investigations, the reconstructive surgeon could be surprised intraoperatively by previous surgical damage, scar formation, or anatomic variants.For these reasons, to confirm the presence and the location of gluteal perforators preoperatively we have used color Doppler ultrasonography. With the help of the color Doppler ultrasonography 26 patients, 21 men and 5 women, were operated between the years 2002 and 2007. The mean age of patients was 47.7 (age range: 7-77 years). All perforator vessels were marked preoperatively around the defect locations. The perforator based flap that will allow primary closure of the donor site and the defect without tension was planned choosing the perforator that showed the largest flow in color Doppler ultrasonography proximally. Perforators were found in the sites identified with color Doppler ultrasonography in all other flaps. In our study, 94.4% flap viability was ensured in 36 perforator-based gluteal area flaps. Mean flap elevation time was 31.9 minutes. We found that locating the perforators preoperatively helps to shorten the operation time without compromising a reliable viability of the perforator flaps, thus enabling the surgeon easier treatment of pressure sores.
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