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Ultrasound for Perforator Mapping and Flap Design in the Hand and Upper Extremity

Published:February 03, 2023DOI:
      Duplex ultrasound allows accurate preoperative flap planning through mapping of perforator location and anatomy. In the hand and upper extremity, where thickness of the subcutaneous fat is less compared with other areas of the body, color Doppler ultrasound is particularly sensitive for analyzing the location and characteristics of perforators. In this study, we will first review evidence on use of ultrasound in flap planning. Second, we will provide a technical guide on ultrasound settings for preoperative flap planning. Finally, we will discuss case examples that show the use of ultrasound for accurate perforator mapping to facilitate rapid flap harvest. Color Doppler ultrasound is inexpensive and readily available to be incorporated into the armamentarium of the hand surgeon for preoperative flap planning.

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