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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1977 Nov;60(5):681-91.

Treatment of chronic radiation injury over the shoulder with a latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap.


We report our experiences in treating chronic radiation injury about the shoulder, a complication of radiation after mastectomy. Left untreated, these can result in chronic infection and/or amputation. The coverage of a large shoulder area presents certain unique problems, which severely limit the usefulness of traditional procedures. We have found that the remarkable size and versatility of the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap enables one to use it with relative simplicity and safety. A further great advantage is that it brings new permanent blood supply into this ischemic area, thus favoring rapid healing and durable coverage.

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