Vaginal and pelvic reconstruction with distally based rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps

G R Tobin, T G Day
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1988, 81 (1): 62-73
This report introduces a new method of vaginal reconstruction using a single rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap based distally. Applications of this flap in reconstruction of major abdominal wall and pelvic defects, such as hemipelvectomies, are also described. The flap is designed to carry a paddle of upper abdominal skin on a distally based muscle and vascular pedicle. Advantages of this flap design are (1) the technique is straightforward and rapid, (2) flap viability is reliable, (3) the epigastric skin-fascial donor defect preserves the anterior rectus fascia distal to the linea semicircularis, which prevents hernia, (4) a large arc of rotation is provided, and (5) the epigastric donor site does not interfere with colostomy and urinary conduit stomas in the pelvic exenteration patient. We have done 11 vaginal reconstructions and 9 major pelvic defect reconstructions with this flap during the last 3 1/2 years. In these 20 patients, the only complications were two partial flap losses. No major flap losses or ventral hernias occurred.

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