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A new classification of free combined or connected tissue transfers: introduction to the concept of bridge, siamese, chimeric, mosaic, and chain-circle flaps.

Author(s): Koshima I

Journal: Acta Medica Okayama
ISSN 0386-300X

Volume: 55;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 329;
Date: 2001;
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Recently, combined tissues or flaps have been used for the repair of extensively massive or wide defects resulting from radical wide resection. To further advance the development of combined tissue transfers, they should be reclassified. Based on our cases with free tissue transfers, we have created a new classification of combined flaps composed of "bridge", "chimeric", "siamese", "mosaic", and "chain-circle" flaps. The bridge flap is fabricated out together of separate flaps with short vascular pedicles. These form a compound flap supplied with a solitary vascular source. The chimeric flap is compounded from multiple different flaps but consists of only a single different tissue form. Each of the flaps is usually supplied by different branches from the same source vessel. It differs from the bridge flap in that the pedicle of each flap or tissue has some length for its movement for transfer. The siamese connected flap has 2 adjacent flaps that are simultaneously elevated, and a disparate vascular pedicle for each flap must be reestablished. This connected flap has double isolated pedicles. Themosaic connected flap consists of 2 adjacent flaps that are simultaneously elevated, and the pedicle of the distal flap is anastomosed to the pedicle branch of the proximal flap in the "bridge" fashion. The vascular pedicle of the proximal flap is anastomosed to a single vascular source. The chain-circle flap has 2 or more flaps like the bridge and chimeric flaps, and the distal end of the vascular source is anastomosed to the branch of the recipient vessel. Based on results with our patients, the lateral circumflex femoral system seems to be the most suitable candidate for the axial pedicle of these combined flaps, because the system has several branches of large and small caliber, and several tissue components, such as the vascularized ilium, rectus femoris muscle, gracilis muscle, lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, and fascia lata, are located nearby.

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