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J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2019 Apr-Jun;12(2):124-127. doi: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_158_18.

Wound Closure in Large Neural Tube Defects: Role of Rhomboid Flaps.

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Department of Paediatric Surgery, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India.



Large wounds following surgery for neural tube defects are difficult to close; physical wound characteristics such as position and dimension would serve as a guide for their surgical closure.


To study how wound dimension determines the choice between primary and rhomboid flap closure of skin defects following surgery for neural tube defects.

Materials And Methods:

A retrospective study was carried out on cases of neural tube defects operated in the department of paediatric surgery at a tertiary center for 3 years from January 2015 to December 2017. Data regarding clinical features, location, wound dimensions following surgery, any bony deformity, method of closure used, distance of wound from anus, and postoperative complications were collected and analyzed.


A total of 114 cases were operated during this period; 86/114 had primary closure, whereas 28/114 needed rhomboid flap for tension-free cover. Primarily closed wounds had a biphasic distribution of (long axis)/(short axis) ratio (with values either >1.65 or <0.63), whereas those covered by rhomboid flaps had a mean ratio of 1.25 (range, 0.71-1.45). All six cases with bony deformity needed rhomboid flaps. Although all lipomeningomyelocele defects could be primarily closed, all rachischisis needed flap cover. Infected lesions had a mean wound distance of 5.3cm from posterior anal margin.


Defect's position, its size and shape, and any bony deformity determine the choice of closure of postoperative wound. The versatile, safe, and universal rhomboid flap is an aesthetic solution to the large skin defects in patients of neural tube defects.


Neural tube defects; primary wound closure; rhomboid flap

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