The oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap for complex pelvic wound reconstruction

Daniel E. Abbott, Amy L. Halverson, Jeffrey D. Wayne, John Y.S. Kim, Mark S. Talamonti, Gregory A. Dumanian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap is a seldom used flap design based on perforating vessels exiting the rectus near the umbilicus. Compared to other flaps, the oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap provides increased soft tissue to fill pelvic dead space, with the further advantage of intact skin to close perineal defects. Here we detail the oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap in achieving closure of complex perineal wounds. METHODS: A review of indications and outcomes in 16 patients undergoing complex pelvic operations requiring reconstruction with this flap was undertaken. RESULTS: All patients had been previously treated with pelvic irradiation for cancer. Indications for flap reconstruction included abdominal perineal resection for anal/rectal cancer, pelvic sarcoma/sacral resection/exenteration, small bowel/colonic fistula resection, and total proctocolectomy with vaginal reconstruction. Median follow-up was 17 (range, 1-57) months. Complications included epidermal necrosis at the flap tip (n=2), delayed perineal wound breakdown (n=1), one abdominal wound infection, one small abdominal dehiscence, and four pelvic abscesses all managed nonoperatively. A single recurrent fistula required operative resection three months postoperatively. There were no cases of complete flap necrosis, vascular failure or persistently draining perineal sinus, and no mortalities related to the flap reconstruction. CONCLUSIONS: The treatment of complex pelvic wounds, especially following pelvic radiation, is facilitated by the oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap. This technique provides ample tissue for large pelvic wounds, including skin for perineal defects. Comparing our results to existing literature, the oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap displays a favorable morbidity profile, providing a safe means of delivering well-vascularized tissue to the pelvic cavity and perineal floor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1241
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Abdominoperineal resection
  • Oblique rectus abdominal myocutaneous flap
  • Pelvis
  • Reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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