Role of Tensor Fasciae Latae in Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

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The role of the tensor fasciae latae as autogenous tissue in reconstruction of abdominal wall defects is well established. The use of various forms of the tensor fasciae latae (free graft versus pedicled flap versus free flap) is determined by the characteristics of the defect. A review of abdominal wall reconstructions using tensor fasciae latae was completed to determine efficacy and establish guidelines for its use. Abdominal wall reconstructions from 1991 to 1994 using tensor fasciae latae were reviewed. Demographics, wound characteristics, and complications were evaluated. Twenty-seven patients with a mean follow-up of 23.6 months underwent abdominal wall reconstruction with the tensor fasciae latae: free grafts, 12; pedicled flaps, 9; and free flaps, 6. An average defect size of 14.4 × 13.1 cm was seen. Fourteen (52 percent) of the reconstructions were completed in contaminated or infected wounds. One recurrent enteric fistula was seen. Twelve (44 percent) of the patients had flap complications of which 50 percent involved partial flap necrosis. Donor site complications were seen in five patients (18 percent) and included a hematoma, seroma, and two cases of skin graft dehiscence along the edge of the wound. Tensor fasciae latae free grafts are an option for repair of abdominal hernias if abdominal soft tissue is adequate. Pedicled flaps may be used for defects of soft tissue and fascia but are limited by the arc of rotation and size of the defect. Tensor fasciae latae free flaps are versatile in orientation and may be used for supraumbilical defects. Tip necrosis is significant in both types of vascularized flaps.

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