Novel modification of the vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap for neovagina creation

Anil K. Sood, Brian C. Cooper, Joel I. Sorosky, Pedro T. Ramirez, Charles Levenback

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We describe a modification of the traditional vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap for neovagina creation and our experience to date. METHODS: Our modified vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap uses a smaller flap size with a full-thickness skin graft posteriorly to decrease the size of the abdominal wall defect. We have used the modified vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap in 18 patients between March 1998 and March 2004 to create a neovagina after exenterative surgery. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 54 years, and the mean body mass index was 27 (range 18-44). Twelve patients underwent a total pelvic, 5 anterior, and 1 posterior exenteration. Among the 13 patients requiring a colostomy, the vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap was taken from the contralateral side. In these patients, the urostomy was brought out on the vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap donor side. There has been only 1 partial flap loss, which eventually resulted in a fully epithelialized neovagina. Eight patients at last follow-up were sexually active. Two other patients have died from recurrent disease, and 2 are alive with recurrence. The other 6 patients have no evidence of recurrent disease and, although not sexually active at the time of this report, have a viable and adequate neovagina. All patients had a successful primary closure of the abdominal wound in a vertical fashion. Three patients had superficial abdominal wound breakdown, which healed by secondary intention. CONCLUSION: The modified vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap allows for creation of an adequate neovagina with a smaller abdominal wall defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-518
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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