Staged reconstruction of abdominal wall defects after intra-abdominal catastrophes

W J Okunski, B V Sonntag, R X Murphy
Annals of Plastic Surgery 1996, 36 (5): 475-8
Advances in surgical intensive care have improved survival in patients with major traumatic or infectious intra-abdominal insults. Patients who recover are often left with massive abdominal wall defects. Sufficient autogenous tissue may not be available for reconstruction and synthetic mesh followed by skin grafting can lead to unaesthetic results or complications. We report on four patients with abdominal wall defects and their reconstruction after intra-abdominal injury. Treatment involved local wound care to stimulate granulation tissue, which is eventually skin grafted to close the wound. Patients are then allowed to make a full recovery. Soft-tissue expanding prostheses are placed during a second operation and inflated over subsequent weeks. Finally, the skin graft is excised, a polytetrafluoroethylene patch is placed into the fascial defect, and the expanded skin is used to achieve wound closure.

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