Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap for postpneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Numerous types of flap coverage have been reported to prevent or to repair bronchopleural fistulas. Most of the flaps were harvested from chest area. However, these pedicled flaps might not be optimal for the patient who has undergone previous radiotherapy on pulmonary parenchyma because the pedicle artery of the flap might have been injured by irradiation. Therefore, an alternative flap outside of the chest area is necessary.

Patient concerns:

A 61-year-old male was diagnosed of squamous cell carcinoma in right upper lobe lung (cT3N2M0, stage IIIa). After completing the neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, he underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery with right side intrapericardial pneumonectomy.

Diagnosis:

Persistent air leak due to postpneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula.

Interventions:

Pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap was used to repair the bronchial stump.

Outcomes:

The bronchial stump was repaired successfully, the bronchopleural fistula was obliterated, and the patient was free from air leak after following for 12 months.

Lessons:

This case demonstrated that pedicled TRAM flap is a feasible alternative to repair bronchopleural fistula.

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