The Keystone Perforator Island Flap: Review of Utility and Versatile Clinical Applications

Natalie Pawlak, Gabriel De La Cruz Ku, Abhishek Chatterjee, Sarah Persing, Christopher Homsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The keystone perforator island flap (KPIF) was described almost a decade ago. However, this flap has only recently been recognized for its advantages in various clinical applications in plastic surgery. A better understanding of the versatility of KPIFs can help promote the widespread adoption of this technique for complex wounds in various anatomical regions. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients undergoing KPIFs from December 2018 to March 2022 at the authors' home institution. The indications, surgical approaches, patient characteristics, and outcomes were extracted for review and analysis. Results: A total of 12 patients (ages 13-86 years) underwent reconstruction with KPIFs for oncologic and nononcologic defects. By anatomic region, three cases involved the upper back, six involved the lumbosacral region, one involved the perineum, and two involved the midfoot. Half of the patients (n = 6) had failed previous attempts at wound closure. The mean defect size was 13.8 × 10.0 cm for the upper back lesions, 13.7 × 4.8 for the lumbosacral defects, and 3.5 × 2.0 for the metatarsal wounds. Median follow-up time for all patients was 7.5 months (IQR: 4-10.5). On follow-up, there was 100% flap survival. Conclusion: KPIFs are a simple, safe, and suitable option for reconstructive closure of defects in many anatomical areas, including wounds complicated by previous failed closure attempts, with low complication risk profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E5556
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2024


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