Use of the Extended V-Y Latissimus Dorsi Myocutaneous Flap for Chest Wall Reconstruction in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

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Abstract

The extended V-Y latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap described by Micali and Carramaschi provides an innovative method of closing large anterior chest defects after resection of breast cancer. The technique provides robust chest wall coverage that is able to withstand immediate postoperative radiotherapy. The aim of this article is to confirm the usefulness of the flap's design and describe modifications to the technique. The modifications to technique include: a curvilinear design that recruited more skin for closure in patients with wounds extending laterally or superiorly, routine transposition of latissimus dorsi insertion inferio-medially onto the chest wall to maximize pedicle reach, and the use of small split skin grafts or delayed primary closure if there was tension in closing. Twelve patients who underwent resection of locally advanced breast cancer had immediate chest wall reconstruction with the extended V-Y latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap. The V to Y design of the flap's cutaneous island allowed primary closure of chest wound and donor defect.

There were no instances of chest wound dehiscence. The chest wounds healed, allowing patients to undergo adjuvant radiotherapy in a mean time interval of 6 weeks after surgery.

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