The effect of dipyrone on the skin flap survival was studied in a model of an epigastric island flap with a random extension on the opposite side in 23 rats. Dipyrone was given intraperitoneally one hour before the skin flap was raised. At the end of the operation the depth of penetration of the fluorescein dye in the skin flap was assessed visually from photographic records and the flap survival area was measured by a grid method on the seventh postoperative day. There was a significant reduction in the amount of ischaemic necrosis of the skin flap after a single dose of dipyrone 50 mg/kg (p < 0.001). These data suggest that dipyrone is a useful agent in the prevention and treatment of ischaemia and necrosis of the skin flap.