The pedicled lateral arm flap for oncologic reconstruction near the shoulder

Sumanas W. Jordan, Jeffrey D. Wayne, Gregory A. Dumanian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Oncologic resections near the shoulder create challenging reconstructive problems. In addition to severe contour defects and the risk for functional deficits resulting from contractures, there may be exposed bone and peripheral nerves rendering simple skin graft closures suboptimal long term. The lateral arm flap is a versatile septofasciocutaneous flap based on the posterior branch of the radial collateral artery in the lateral intermuscular septum of the upper arm. This paper details our experience with 3 patients who underwent wide local excision or radical resection of soft tissue tumors of the upper arm and closure with pedicled lateral arm fasciocutaneous flaps. Flap size ranged from 6 × 10 cm to 5 × 15 cm. Two flaps were transferred as 180-degree pivotal flaps; 1 flap was transferred as an advancement flap. There were no immediate postoperative complications or long-term functional deficits. The pedicled lateral arm flap is a safe and reliable option for soft tissue coverage of anterolateral shoulder defects. The vascular pedicle lies deep within the mid-upper arm and is rarely at risk during extensive tumor extirpation. The adjacent donor site allows for a single operative field without the need for repositioning and furthermore results in a skin paddle requirement that is one half the width of the original defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Lateral arm flap
  • Oncologic reconstruction
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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