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Int J Surg Case Rep. 2013;4(1):23-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2012.09.008. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Abdominal aorta as a recipient artery: Using a free latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap to close hip and pelvic defects.

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Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Burn Center Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany; Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University hospital, Aachen, Germany. Electronic address:



Free tissue transfer (FTT) is now a common procedure in many surgical centres around the world and it has shown well established results especially in the field of reconstructive surgery. The choice of FTT depends on the size of defect, nature of tissue, length of pedicle and donor site morbidity. Notwithstanding, FTT is complex and always depending on a sufficient recipient vessel.


Herein, we report a case in which the abdominal aorta was used as arterial recipient vessel for microvascular transfer of a free latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap. It was utilized to reconstruct an extensive pelvic and hip defect following a massive gas gangrene with a prior debridement of other potential recipient vessels.


In this case, the patient had a large defect that demanded a choice of a large flap such as the free latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap. The iliac system has been sacrificed during the debridement procedure together with other potential recipient vessels. In the presented case, arterial anastomosis of the free latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap was performed to the distal part of the aorta without complications.


Using the abdominal aorta as a recipient arterial vessel seems to be a reliable alternative that should be considered in difficult reconstructive scenarios such as the "vessel-depleted" pelvis.

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