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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 Feb;67(2):377-80; discussion 380-1.

Comparison of omental and pectoralis flaps for poststernotomy mediastinitis.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



Pectoralis flaps are frequently used to treat poststernotomy mediastinitis. We compared the outcomes of omental transfer, an alternative treatment for mediastinitis, with those of pectoralis flaps.


Patients treated for poststernotomy mediastinitis with isolated omental flaps (n = 21) were compared with a group of consecutive patients treated with pectoralis flaps (n = 38). Baseline characteristics were equivalent for the two groups, and both early and late outcomes were compared.


Length of procedure and length of postoperative hospitalization were reduced significantly and there were significantly fewer early complications in the group treated with omental flaps. Furthermore, there were no early or late flap failures or abscesses in the omental flap group.


This study found that omental flaps had improved early outcomes and are a more effective therapy relative to pectoralis flaps for poststernotomy mediastinitis. Technical considerations for omental transfer that could optimize results are given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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