Distally based rectus abdominis flap for reconstruction in radical gynecologic procedures

Gynecologic Oncology
S H PursellG R Tobin


The distally based rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap is an important adjunct to radical pelvic surgery. It can be used to fashion a functional neovagina or to create a patch to cover perineal defects created by exenterative surgery. This report reviews the technical aspects of the creation of this flap and our experience with 22 patients who have undergone this procedure. The flap has been found to be technically easy to create. It is reliable with little tissue loss, and donor site complications are acceptable. Healing is aided by filling the pelvic dead space, thereby decreasing bowel complications, and by bringing a new blood supply into the operative site which has often been heavily irradiated. Operative time is minimized since the procedure requires only unilateral mobilization. Subsequent abdominal surgery has been performed without fascial complications.


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