Tensor Fascia Lata Pedicled Flap

The TFL flap is based on the ascending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery which is located approximately 8-10 cm below the anterior superior iliac spine. The motor nerve supply is via the superior gluteal nerve which enters posteriorly. The sensory supply is via the lateral cutaneous branch of T12 and the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.

An island of skin can be harvested up to 15 cm in width. The flap can be elevated up to 8 cm above the knee. The lateral circumflex femoral artery passes between the rectus femoris and the vastus lateralis where it gives off the transverse branch which pierces the TFL muscle. The flap can then be mobilized and rotated. For groin defects extensive mobilization is not required due to the close proximity of the defect to the flap. The donor area is covered with a split skin graft. The TFL flap is well vascularized and complications are limited to either wound dehiscence or necrosis of the distal tip of the flap.

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