Versatility of the Pedicled ALT Flap in Defect Reconstruction: Experience of a Unit in Rural Sub-Saharan African

Peter Nthumba

AIC Kijabe Hospital, Kijabe, Kenya, and Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland

Correspondence to: Peter Nthumba.



Background: The free anterolateral thigh flap with its large caliber vessels, a reliable skin territory and minimal donor site morbidity is the reconstructive surgeons’ workhorse. The pedicled flap though not as popular, has been used extensively for the reconstruction of defects from the mid-leg to the epigastrium. The favorable profile of the anterolateral thigh flap, with minimal variability of its vascular anatomy and donor site complications is well described in most races; literature of its use in sub-Saharan Africa is scanty. Methods: The author describes the use of the anterolateral thigh flap in a series of 17 patients in a rural African hospital, illustrating its versatility as well as the complications associated with its use in this patient population. Results: Seventeen patients with twenty antero-lateral thigh flaps were followed for an average of 24 months. Conclusions: The pedicled antero-lateral thigh flap is an excellent reconstructive tool with very good results in the black African population. This versatile flap has low donor site morbidity. The risk of developing hypertrophic scars and keloids remains a real concern in Black patients and longer term follow-up and a larger number of patients are needed to establish this potential complication.

Key words: Anterolateral thigh flap, Africa

Ann Afr Surg. 2018; 15(1):34-39


© 2018 Author. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


All content copyright © 2021 Annals of African Surgery.

ISSN (print): 1999-9674; ISSN (online): 2523-0816

Main Office Location: Menelik Medical Centre, Menelik Road, off Ngong Road, Nairobi. First floor.

Telephone: +254715260499



The content on this site is intended for health professionals. Advertisements on this site do not constitute a guarantee or endorsement by the journal, Association, or publisher of the quality or value of such product or of the claims made for it by its manufacturer.

Click here to subscribe and get the latest from Annals of African Surgery

Click here to apply as a Journal Reviewer!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram