UMMS Affiliation

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Anatomy | Plastic Surgery | Surgery | Surgical Procedures, Operative | Urogenital System


Background: Cancer, trauma, infection, or radiation can cause perineal defects. Fasciocutaneous flaps based on perforator vessels (PV) from the internal pudendal artery (IPA) provide an ideal reconstructive option for moderate defects. We hypothesized that, due to gender differences in the pelvic-perineal region, the anatomical distribution of PV differs between genders.

Methods: Computed tomography angiographies from male and female patients without pelvic-perineal pathologies were retrospectively analyzed to study the vascular anatomy of the IPA. The number, size, type, and distribution of PV were recorded and compared between genders. Four anatomical regions were defined to describe the distribution of PV on each perineal side: anterior (A), anterior-central (AC), central-posterior (CP), and posterior (P).

Results: A total of 63 computed tomography angiographies were analyzed (men, 31; women, 32). Each IPA provides 2 +/- 1 PV and 5 +/- 2 terminal (cutaneous) branches: in both genders, 85% of PV are septocutaneous (15% musculocutaneous). In women, 70.5% of PV are located in AC, 28.2% in CP, 1.2% in A, and 0% in P: average diameter of the PV is 2.4 +/- 0.3 mm. In men, 53.7% of PV are located in CP, 43.1% in AC, 3.3% in A, and 0% in P: average diameter of the PV is 2.8 +/- 0.5 mm. Gender-specific differences in anatomical distribution of PV are significant (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Number, size, and type of terminal branches of PV of the IPA are consistent between genders, but their distribution is different, with women having an anterior predominance. Knowledge of gender-specific anatomy can guide preoperative planning and intraoperative dissection in flap-based perineal reconstruction.


perineum, perineal reconstruction, anatomy, pudendal artery perforator, gender-specific anatomy

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Copyright © 2020 The Authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

DOI of Published Version



Sonda R, Monticelli A, Dalla Venezia E, Giraudo C, Giatsidis G, Bassetto F, Macchi V, Tiengo C. Gender-specific Anatomical Distribution of Internal Pudendal Artery Perforator: A Radiographic Study for Perineal Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020 Oct 29;8(10):e3177. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000003177. PMID: 33173689; PMCID: PMC7647507. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.