Pelvic reconstruction using vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flaps

Edward Wayne Buchel, Stephen Finical, Craig Johnson
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2004, 52 (1): 22-6
Coverage of complex perineal wounds resulting from surgical and radiation therapy results in significant morbidity. Acute complications occur in 25% to 60% of patients. Serious complications occur in 25% to 46% of patients. Musculocutaneous or omental flaps are used as primary or salvage procedures for nonhealing perineal wounds. Vertical rectus abdominis flaps are ideally suited to bring nonirradiated tissue into defects associated with radical surgical extirpation procedures and irradiated fields.A retrospective review of 73 cases using a vertical rectus abdominis flap for perineal reconstruction is reported. Acute perineal wound complications occurred in 17.8%, while serious complications requiring reoperation occurred in only 3.5%. There was 1 complete flap failure. Primary healing occurred in 84.9% of patients, with 94.5% of patients obtaining a healed perineal wound within 30 days. These results support the use of the transpelvic vertical rectus flap in difficult perineal wound reconstruction.

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