Original Research

Reverse saphenous conduit flap in small animals: Clinical applications and outcomes

Ross C. Elliott
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 85, No 1 | a1038 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v85i1.1038 | © 2014 Ross C. Elliott | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 April 2013 | Published: 20 August 2014

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Ross C. Elliott, Department of Small Animal Surgery, Bryanston Veterinary Hospital, South Africa

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Due to the lack of skin elasticity defects of the distal hind limb can be a challenge to close. This article assesses a well-described, but completely under-used technique for closure of wounds on the distal tarsus. The technique was used with good success in six cases presenting to the Bryanston Veterinary Hospital with a wide range of underlying pathology ranging from trauma to neoplastic disease of the tarsus. All six cases were treated with a reverse saphenous conduit flap and two of them underwent radiation therapy with no adverse side effects. All cases showed excellent results with a very low degree of flap necrosis that never exceeded 15% of the total flap area. This skin flap provides an excellent treatment method that is reliable in closure of defects of the distal tarsus with few adverse effects. To the author’s knowledge there has been only one previously published report on the clinical use of this type of skin flap,even though the flap is well described in most texts.


Saphenous Flap; axial pattern flap; Tarsus


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