The arteriovenous pedicle of all known axial-pattern skin flaps enters from the deep aspect and consequently the flap must contain fat and/or muscle and be of considerable thickness. In an attempt to fabricate a thinner axial-pattern flap the femoral artery and vein of rabbits were implanted, in various vascular configurations, directly into the subdermal layer of the skin. Implantation was found to provoke an extensive outgrowth of new vessels from the implanted artery and vein, and the progress and pattern of this neovascularisation was studied by carbon gelatine perfusion and histology. Neovascularisation begins within a few days of implantation and progresses rapidly. By 8 to 12 weeks it is possible to elevate regularly a viable, large skin flap based on the implanted pedicle.