Combined Gluteus and Pudendal Thigh Flap Reconstruction of Vaginal Defects following Robotic Abdominoperineal Resection

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Low-lying rectal cancers are being treated more frequently with robotic-assisted abdominoperineal resection, obviating the need for laparotomy and the ability to raise vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flaps. For female patients, posterior vaginectomy often accompanies the resection. Combined pudendal thigh flaps as an extension of bilateral gluteus advancement flaps allow for posterior vaginal resurfacing with thin pliable fasciocutaneous flaps, which rest on the gluteal flap soft-tissue bulk that obliterates the pelvic dead space. For patients with advanced cancers who have had neoadjuvant chemoradiation, the pudendal skin paddle can be planned more laterally to bring in healthier medial thigh skin. The donor incisions lie within the gluteal cleft and crease and groin creases recapitulating normal perineal anatomy and aesthetics.

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