Radial Forearm Flap: Flap Raising Including the Cephalic Vein

  • Klaus-Dietrich Wolff
  • Frank Hölzle


Since the RFF is drained by a deep and a superficial system, there is still a debate as to which system is more reliable for anastomoses. Anatomically, the superficial system of the RFF is largely represented by the cephalic vein, which collects the blood from the dorsal venous arch and courses along the dorsolateral border of the radius toward the antecubital fossa, where it communicates with the median cubital vein, the basilic vein, and also with the deep venous system of the RFF via a perforating vein. The vein then further ascends to the deltopectoral fossa, traveling within the groove between the biceps and brachialis muscles, where it perforates the clavipectoral fascia to drain into the axillary vein. According to an anatomic dissection by Reid and Taylor [421], the cephalic vein was absent in 2 out of their 50 specimens. The average diameter of the cephalic vein is about 5 mm (1–12 mm) [270].

Supplementary material

Video 2.1

RFF Vena cephalica (MP4 282293 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus-Dietrich Wolff
    • 1
  • Frank Hölzle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryKlinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity Hospital of RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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