Introduction: The aim of this study is to describe our experience with reconstruction of pelvic defects after surgery for previously irradiated malignancies using a gracilis muscle flap transposition. Patients and methods Between 1993 and 2002, 25 patients were treated by primary (n=7) or secondary reconstruction (n=18) using a gracilis muscle transfer. All patients were previously irradiated with a median dosage of 50 Gy. Results: Direct reconstruction following resection of the tumour was accompanied with minor complications in three patients and without major complications. Median time to complete healing of the donor site and perineal defect was 11 and 46 days, respectively. Reconstruction of persistent perineal infections resulted in minor complications at the donor site (n=3) and at the perineal wound (n=11). Three patients experienced a major complication. Median time to complete healing of the donor site and perineal defect was, respectively, 17 and 190 days. Necrosis of the gracilis muscle flaps was not observed. Conclusion: Direct reconstruction with a gracilis transfer resulted in primary wound healing with low morbidity, hereby preventing potentially disabling persistent defects. After debridement of persistent wounds, indirect reconstruction with gracilis muscle resulted in the majority of patients in healing of the defects with acceptable morbidity.

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European Journal of Surgical Oncology
Department of Surgery

Vermaas, M., Ferenschild, F., Hofer, S., Verhoef, K., Eggermont, A., & de Wilt, J. (2005). Primary and secondary reconstruction after surgery of the irradiated pelvis using a gracilis muscle flap transposition. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 31(9), 1000–1005. doi:10.1016/j.ejso.2005.02.004