The Superior Rectal Artery as a Recipient Vessel for Free Flap Transfer After Partial Sacrectomy in Patients With Chordoma

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Free flaps have rarely been used to reconstruct lumbosacral defects, primarily because of the lack of suitable recipient vessels in this region. We propose the novel use of the superior rectal artery as a recipient vessel for free flap transfer after partial or total sacrectomy. We transferred free flow-through latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flaps, with the superior rectal vessels as recipient vessels, to reconstruct defects after partial sacrectomy in 2 patients with sacral chordoma. The flaps survived completely, and the wounds healed uneventfully in both patients. The superior rectal artery is easier to dissect and anastomose than are gluteal vessels and is less affected by patients’ postoperative postural change than are extraperitoneal vessels. We believe that the superior rectal artery is a versatile recipient vessel for free flap transfer to reconstruct sacrectomy defects.

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