A novel split-thickness skin graft donor site: The radial skin paddle

Tamer A. Ghanem, Mark K. Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To eliminate morbidity of the thigh split-thickness skin graft (STSG) donor site in forearm flaps, the feasibility of harvesting from an alternate site was assessed. Study Design: Case series with planned data collection. Setting: A tertiary care academic setting. Subjects and Methods: Data were collected from patients undergoing forearm flap reconstruction over 13 months. The forearm flap harvesting procedure was modified to incorporate STSG harvest directly from the flap skin paddle. Results: There were 66 patients in this cohort, with mean age of 62.6 years. There were 58 fasciocutaneous radial forearm free flaps (RFFFs), three osteocutaneous RFFF, three ulnar flaps, and two reverse-flow RFFFs. The majority of flaps were used for mucosal coverage (n = 54), but 12 flaps were used for external skin coverage. The mean forearm defect was 36.5 cm2 (12-77 cm2). Harvesting from the forearm skin paddle was successful in 64 patients (97%). Two patients required a thigh STSG; both patients were octogenarians with frail skin. Conclusion: A thigh STSG donor site, with its associated morbidities, can be eliminated in 97 percent of patients undergoing forearm flaps. Older patients with frail skin may require a thigh donor site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-394
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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