Outcomes of Immediate Internal Pudendal Artery Perforator Flap Reconstruction for Irradiated Abdominoperineal Resection Defects

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BACKGROUND:There are many previous reports for using the internal pudendal artery perforator flap in vulvovaginal reconstruction; however, reports of this flap for perineal reconstruction after abdominoperineal excision of the rectum are scarce.OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of immediate internal pudendal artery perforator flap reconstruction for irradiated abdominoperineal resection defects.DESIGN:This was a prospective case series.SETTINGS:This flap could represent a step forward over other perineal flap approaches or primary closure.PATIENTS:A total of 73 consecutive patients with anorectal tumors were included.INTERVENTIONS:The study included immediate perineal reconstruction using 122 internal pudendal artery perforator flaps after abdominoperineal excision of the rectum.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Dimensions of the perineal defect (in centimeters squared), hospital stay (days), healing time (days), and postoperative complications (Clavien–Dindo grades) were measured.RESULTS:The means of the perineal defect, hospital stay, and healing time were 51.62 cm2, 15.94 days, and 38.52 days. The higher the patient BMI, the longer healing time (p = 0.02); Clavien–Dindo complications grades III to IV were greater in patients with perineal defect ≥60 cm2 (p = 0.03; OR = 10.56); postoperative complications were higher both in patients with anal squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.005; OR = 6.09) and in patients with comorbidities (p = 0.04; OR = 2.78); hospital stay (p= 0.001) and healing time (p < 0.001) were higher in patients who had postoperative complications. The complete perineal wound healing at 12 weeks was achieved by 95% of patients, and our 30-day mortality rate was 4%.LIMITATIONS:As a nonrandomized study, our results have to be interpreted with caution.CONCLUSIONS:Multiple previously described advantages associated with internal pudendal artery perforator flap were also observed here, reinforcing the idea that it is reliable, versatile, and a useful option for perineal reconstruction after abdominoperineal excision of the rectum. Therefore, we propose that this flap could be considered as the first choice for perineal reconstruction in selected patients with moderate and some large defects after abdominoperineal excision of the rectum. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A367.

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