The pedicled internal pudendal artery perforator (PIPAP) flap for ischial pressure sore reconstruction: Technique and long-term outcome of a cohort study: Technique and long-term outcome of a cohort study

Catherine M. Legemate, Monique van der Kwaak, David Gobets, Menno Huikeshoven, Paul P. M. van Zuijlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The ischial region is the site most affected by pressure sores and has the highest recurrence and complication rates compared to other affected sites. We developed a practical and safe pedicled flap for reconstruction of ischial pressure sores based on the rich available perforators from the internal pudendal artery and the surplus of skin at the infragluteal fold. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in all patients who underwent ischial pressure ulcer reconstruction using the PIPAP flap between March 2010 and March 2017. The skin flap was designed along the gluteal fold. The skin perforators of the pudendal artery were marked with a Doppler probe in the medial region of the gluteal fold. Surgery was performed in the jackknife position, and flaps were elevated in the suprafascial plane. Patients were assessed for minor (requiring no additional surgery) and major complications (requiring additional surgery). Results: Twenty-seven patients (34 flaps) were identified. The median follow-up period was 38 months (IQR 37). Primary closure of the donor-site was achieved in all procedures, only one flap required muscle flap transposition in order to fill the dead space. The mean operating time was 60 ± 21 minutes. In six flaps (9%) wound healing problems were noted that did not require an additional operative procedure. Among the nine flaps (27%) that required a second procedure, 3 (9%) were necessary due to recurrent ulcers. Conclusions: The PIPAP flap is a safe and reliable alternative for ischial pressure sore reconstruction, certainly when compared to available techniques. Moreover, it has significant advantages over other techniques including minimal donor-site morbidity, preservation of posterior thigh skin, buttock-line integrity and reliable vascularity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-894
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Internal pudendal artery
  • Ischial pressure sore
  • Ischial pressure ulcer
  • Perforator flap
  • Reconstruction
  • Spinal cord injury

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