We made an experimental study on rabbit ears using an ischemic flow-through venous flap model to determine the changes in levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in venous flaps and effects of exogenous antioxidants on endogenous antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ROS indicator malonyldialdehyde (MDA) levels and on flap survival. Mean SOD level significantly decreased and the MDA level significantly increased after the flap elevation according to basal levels Of untreated flaps. The mean flap survival rates in the exogenous SOD or glutathione (GSH)-treated groups were significantly increased with respect to the untreated group. The SOD level was increased significantly and the MDA level was decreased significantly in the SOD- or GSH-treated groups relative to the control group after the flap elevation. These results have suggested that ROS may have an important role in ischemic flow-through venous flap pathogenesis and additionally, antioxidants could enhance the rate of flap survival.