Comparison of the complications in vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap with non-reconstructed cases after pelvic exenteration

Heechang Jeon, Eul Sik Yoon, Hijin You, Hyon Surk Kim, Byung-Il Lee, Seung Ha Park

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background Perineal reconstruction following pelvic exenteration is a challenging area in plastic surgery. Its advantages include preventing complications by obliterating the pelvic dead space and minimizing the scar by using the previous abdominal incision and a vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (VRAM) flap. However, only a few studies have compared the complications and the outcomes following pelvic exenteration between cases with and without a VRAM flap. In this study, we aimed to compare the complications and the outcomes following pelvic exenteration with or without VRAM flap coverage. Methods We retrospectively reviewed the cases of nine patients for whom transpelvic VRAM flaps were created following pelvic exenteration due to pelvic malignancy. The complications and outcomes in these patients were compared with those of another nine patients who did not undergo such reconstruction. Results Flap reconstruction was successful in eight cases, with minor complications such as wound infection and dehiscence. In all cases in the reconstructed group (n=9), structural integrity was maintained and major complications including bowel obstruction and infection were prevented by obliterating the pelvic dead space. In contrast, in the control group (n=9), peritonitis and bowel obstruction occurred in 1 case (11%). Conclusions Despite the possibility of flap failure and minor complications, a VRAM flap can result in adequate perineal reconstruction to prevent major complications of pelvic exenteration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-727
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Plastic Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 1



  • Musculocutaneous flap
  • Pelvic exenteration
  • Rectus abdominis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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