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Gynecol Oncol. 2013 Dec;131(3):726-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.08.030. Epub 2013 Sep 1.

Vulvar reconstruction using the "lotus petal" fascio-cutaneous flap.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. Electronic address:



Vulvar reconstruction using the "lotus petal" fascio-cutaneous flap offers a relatively novel means to restore symmetry and functionality after extirpative gynecologic or oncologic procedures. We sought to assess the success rates and morbidity in a large series of consecutively treated patients.


We performed a retrospective review of 59 consecutive cases of lotus petal flaps performed at a single institution to more accurately assess success and complication rates.


We identified 80 flaps performed among the 59 patients between September 1, 2008 and March 30, 2013. The median (range) age was 59 years (24-89) and the median (range) BMI was 27 kg/m(2) (19-34). The indications for vulvar/perineal excision were as follows: 39 (66.1%) vulvar carcinoma or melanoma, 12 (20.3%) vulvar dysplasia, 5 (8.5%) colorectal disease and 3 (5.1%) cases of hidradenitis suppurativa. The mean defect area, determined by post-fixation pathology specimen was 29 cm(2). Medical or surgical complications occurred in 36% of patients of which superficial wound separation was the most common (15%). There were no cases of complete flap loss, but partial loss occurred in 7 (8.8%) cases. 3 (5.1%) patients required re-operation prior to discharge with one case requiring skin grafting. Delayed surgical revision was required in 4 patients for partial flap loss (2) or stricture/stenosis (2).


The lotus petal flap is safe for use in gynecologic reconstruction, with acceptable short- and long-term complication rates. Previous reports of smaller series likely underestimate the risk of complications through case selection.


Flap; Lotus petal; Vulva; Vulvar reconstruction; Vulvar surgery

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