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Perineal reconstruction after abdominoperineal excision using inferior gluteal artery perforator flaps. BJS 2012; 99: 584-588.

Published: 9th January 2012

Authors: A. Hainsworth, M. Al Akash, P. Roblin, P. Mohanna, D. Ross, M. L. George et al.

Background

Perineal wound complications following abdominoperineal excision (APE) for low rectal tumours remain an important cause of morbidity and prolonged hospital stay, particularly after chemoradiotherapy. The aim was to assess outcomes after using inferior gluteal artery perforator (IGAP) flaps for immediate perineal reconstruction, and to compare these with the authors' previous experience and published literature on myocutaneous flaps.

Method

A series of patients who underwent immediate IGAP flap reconstruction after APE between April 2008 and December 2010 were examined retrospectively to determine patient demographics, length of operation, complications (perineal wound and general) and length of hospital stay.

Results

Forty patients with rectal adenocarcinoma (33 primary and 7 recurrent disease) underwent immediate IGAP flap reconstruction following APE. Median follow‐up was 9 months. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy was received by 98 per cent of the patients. Thirty‐two patients underwent APE plus IGAP flaps (25 open, 7 laparoscopic), with a median operating time of 402 min, and eight patients had multivisceral resection (MVR) plus IGAP flaps (7 total pelvic exenteration (TPE), 1 abdominosacral resection), with a median duration of surgery of 561 min. There was one death (fatal stroke) and four major flap complications (10 per cent) (1 enteroperineal fistula, and 3 deep wound infections). Median length of hospital stay was 13 days after APE plus IGAP flaps and 27 days following MVR plus IGAP flaps. Late complications occurred in two patients who had vaginal reconstruction and developed perineal hernias requiring revisional surgery.

Conclusion

Although operating times are long, the IGAP flap is robust, with no flap necrosis observed in this series. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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