Superficial ulnar artery: Curse or blessing in harvesting fasciocutaneous forearm flaps

Peter Sieg*, Hans Christian Jacobsen, Samer G. Hakim, Dirk Hermes

*Corresponding author for this work
18 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Superficial ulnar artery is a wellknown vascular anomaly that may cause special risks because of possible impairment of the vessel by mistake during harvesting fasciocutaneous forearm flaps. Methods. The charts of patients who had undergone forearm flap transfer were reviewed for vascular anomalies. When a superficial ulnar artery was present, a superficial ulnar artery flap was raised and arteriography was performed postoperatively to figure out the vascular pattern in the contralateral arm. Results. Four superficial ulnar arteries were found during dissection of ulnar forearm flaps (n = 107). We were unable to identify any superficial ulnar artery when preparing the radial pendant (n = 27), and we did not notice any impairment of such an artery. The four superficial ulnar artery flaps healed uneventfully. Postoperative arteriography revealed a bilateral vascular anomaly in one of the four cases. Conclusion. The superficial ulnar artery is a calculable anatomic variation as long as its possible presence is considered during flap harvesting. In these cases, the use of the superficial ulnar artery flap was found to be an easy and safe alternative.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2006


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