Electrically Stimulated Rectus Abdominis Muscle Flap to Achieve Enterostomal Continence: Development of a Functional Canine Model

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Abstract

Background:

Dynamic myoplasty has many clinical applications and has proven to be a versatile surgical procedure with great promise. This procedure has been used to achieve fecal/urinary continence, as in the dynamic graciloplasty, and to augment cardiac ventricular function, as is commonly seen with dynamic latissimus cardiomyoplasty. In the present study, the authors describe a functional innovative island flap sphincter created from the rectus abdominis muscle in a large-animal model to provide stomal continence for future clinical studies.

Methods:

The caudal region of the rectus abdominis muscle in eight mongrel canines (23 to 25 kg) was investigated through anatomical dissections during which the location of the neurovascular pedicles and the intersegmental muscle dimensions between the muscle inscriptions were noted. The rectus abdominis muscle was used to create functional dynamic stomal sphincters that were trained with subcutaneously implanted pulse stimulators.

Results:

The neurovascular pedicles were consistently found in similar locations along the posterior medial aspect of the caudal portion of the canine’s rectus abdominis muscle. The vertical height of the deep inferior epigastric pedicle and caudal intercostal nerve muscular mean entry points were 6.75 ± 1.89 cm and 7.44 ± 0.86 cm, respectively. The mean caudal intersegmental muscle length of the rectus abdominis muscle used to create the sphincter was 9.69 ± 1.81 cm.

Conclusions:

The canine rectus abdominis muscle has reliable anatomical locations where the neurovascular pedicle may be found. This canine muscle may be used to create a continent island flap stomal sphincter. This large-animal sphincter model is versatile, durable, and easy to manipulate, with minimal morbidity to the animal.

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