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Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 2010;37(5):565-570.
Published online September 1, 2010.
Usefulness of Gracilis Flap for Perineal Area Reconstruction.
Dong Chan Lee, Yeon Woo Jeong, Hak Chang, Seok Chan Eun
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sceun@snubh.org
Due to the closed and humid condition of the perineal area, wound problems occurring at this site are sometimes complicated, especially following postoperative radiation therapy. Moreover, the anal sphincter is a very important functional structure but reconstruction of the anal sphincter after severe trauma poses a challenging problem to plastic surgeons. In this article, we demonstrate the usefulness of the pedicled gracilis flap in the reconstruction of the perineal area. METHODS: From September 2008 to November 2009, 6 patients, 4 males and 2 females, underwent surgery of the perineal area. The age of the patients ranged from 21 to 62 years (mean age was 48). The mean follow up period was 14 months. In 4 cases, the patient presented with wound problems after postoperative radiation therapy for anal cancer. In 2 cases, the patient presented with traumatic sphincter damage. Only the gracilis muscle was used in the 4 cases and a musculocutaneous flap was used in the 2 cases involving skin defects, respectively.
Among the 6 patients, 1 patient underwent hematoma evacuation of the donor site, and 1 patient presented with prolapse of the vaginal mucosa which recovered spontaneously. There were no report of other complications and there were no wound recurrences. Minimal incontinence was observed in all patients who underwent sphincter reconstruction, but all were satisfied with the overall results.
The gracilis flap is useful in the reconstruction of the perineal area, such as in cases of radiotherapy induced wound problems and sphincter damage following severe trauma, due to its easy accessibility, rich vascularity, and minimal donor site morbidity.
Keywords: Gracilis flap; Perineal reconstruction; Anal sphincter reconstruction
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