Reconstruction of a large full-thickness abdominal wall defect with flow-through-based alt flaps: A case report

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An extensive 35 × 20 cm sized full-thickness abdominal wall defect was created after resection of aggressive abdominal fibromatosis in a 19-year-old male patient. Immediate reconstruction was not possible due to prolonged operation time and resulting severe bowel edema. A silicone sheet with NPWT was applied over the exposed viscera. After 1 week, silicone sheet was substituted with a composite mesh. Then, abdominal wall reconstruction with bilateral free anterolateral thigh (ALT) flaps (30 × 12 cm and 25 × 12 cm sized) was performed. Since there was only a single reliable recipient vessel available, we linked 2 ALT free flaps sequentially in a flow-through fashion to the left inferior epigastric artery and vein. Two donor sites were closed primarily. The flap fully survived and the defect was covered successfully without any complication for 11 months of follow up. Multiple flaps may be needed for large full-thickness abdominal wall defect coverage. Linked fasciocutaneous free flaps could be a solution with a less donor site morbidity even in the case of limited available recipient vessels. The purpose of this study is to introduce our experience of extensive full-thickness abdominal wall reconstruction using only ipsilateral deep inferior epigastric vessels.

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