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Sarcoma. 2008;2008:781408. doi: 10.1155/2008/781408.

Modified vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap for limb salvage procedures in proximal lower limb musculoskeletal sarcomas.

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1
Department of General Surgery, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE59RS, UK.

Abstract

Introduction and aim. Management of complicated wounds after tumor extipiration of pelvic and proximal lower limb musculoskeletal sarcoma represents an essential component in the outcome of these patients. The authors present modified vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (VRAM) flap techniques to reconstruct extensive defects after debridment of these complicated wounds. Material and Methods. Over a period of 4 years (2002-2005), 5 men and 2 women were managed. Median age was 21 years (range 15-49). The patients were managed for complicated lower trunk, groin, and upper thigh wounds after resection of three pelvic chondrosarcomas as well as two pelvic and two proximal femur osteosarcomas. The modifications included a VRAM flap with lateral and tongue-like extension design of the skin paddle (5 cases) or a delayed extended VRAM flap (2 cases). Results. All flaps showed complete survival and healing with no ischemic events providing stable coverage. All patients were ambulant with good limb functions in terms of walking and gait after adequate rehabilitation, 2 needed support with crutches. Conclusion. The modified VRAM flaps offer reliable reconstructive tools for coverage of complex groin and thigh defects by providing larger well-vascularized soft tissue with acceptable donor site.

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