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Our experience using the vertical rectus abdominis muscle flap for reconstruction in 12 patients with dehiscence of a median sternotomy wound and mediastinitis
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2003 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery, ISSN 0284-4311, Vol. 37, no 5, 266-271 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The vertical rectus abdominis (VRAM) flap has been used for reconstruction of sternal defects, particularly in the interior third, since it was first described 20 years ago. We describe 12 patients with mediastinitis or chronic sternal osteomyelitis after sternotomy treated between 1994 and 1997, nine performed at the Royal Hospitals Trust, London. Sternal osteomyelitis and mediastinitis after median sternotomy is an uncommon (0.4%-8.4%) but often fatal condition. Vascularised pedicles are the treatment of choice, and VRAM flaps were used in all cases. We report good long-term outcome with a follow up of 2-5 years, and no long-term morbidity relating to the VRAM reconstruction. We had only one partial failure of a flap. The operations were largely done in hospitals away from the plastic surgical unit in extremely sick patients, which illustrates the importance of multidisciplinary management to reduce hospital stay, mortality, and morbidity. We argue that early involvement of plastic surgical specialists in the treatment of sternal dehiscence is essential to ensure a successful outcome.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 37, no 5, 266-271 p.
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Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-25221DOI: 10.1080/02844310310000455Local ID: 9660OAI: diva2:245548
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Lidman, Disa
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Faculty of Health SciencesPlastic Surgery, Hand Surgery and BurnsDepartment of Plastic Surgery, Hand surgery UHL
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Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Medical and Health Sciences

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ReferencesLink to record
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