Video encyclopedia

Free flap


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Radial Forearm Flap

The terms free flap, free autologous tissue transfer and microvascular free tissue transfer are synonymous terms used to describe the "transplantation" of tissue from one site of the body to another, in order to reconstruct an existing defect. "Free" implies that the tissue is completely detached from its blood supply at the original location and then transferred to another location and the circulation in the tissue re-established by anastomosis of artery(s) and vein(s). This is in contrast to a "pedicled" flap in which the tissue is left partly attached to the donor site ("pedicle") and simply transposed to a new location; keeping the "pedicle" intact as a conduit to supply the tissue with blood.
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