Laparoscopic Omental Harvest for Flap Coverage in Complex Mediastinitis

Reade, Clifton C.; Meadows Jr., William M.; Bower, Curtis E.; Lalikos, Janice F.; Zeri, Richard S.; Wooden, William A.
December 2003
American Surgeon;Dec2003, Vol. 69 Issue 12, p1072
Academic Journal
Mediastinitis is one of the most serious complications of cardiac surgery. The standard of care in mediastinitis includes thorough sequential debridement, flap coverage, and culture-directed antibiotics. The most frequently utilized muscles for flap reconstruction include the rectus abdominus and the pectoralis major. However, in some instances these flaps may be inadequate, unavailable, or fail, thus requiring an alternative choice or adjuvant. Most coronary graft procedures utilize the left internal mammary artery, frequently eliminating the left rectus muscles, while prior open cholecystectomy patients frequently lose availability of their right rectus muscle. In addition, radiation therapy or prior flap failure may exclude other muscle transfer procedures. The omentum offers excellent coverage due to mobility and superb arterial and lymphatic flow. Unfortunately, in the past, this has required a celiotomy in an already critically ill patient. We present a series of 5 patients where the omentum was mobilized laparoscopically and passed through an anterior diaphragmatic incision. This option spares a celiotomy, seals the wound, and hastens recovery in very ill patients. We also present a complete review of literature on the topic and provide an algorithm for complex sternal wound reconstruction.


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