Does the Use of a Flap During Abdominoperineal Resection Decrease Pelvic Wound Morbidity?

Kapoor, Vishal; Cole, Jana; Isik, F. Frank; Sinanan, Mika; Flum, David
February 2005
American Surgeon;Feb2005, Vol. 71 Issue 2, p117
Academic Journal
We hypothesized that the use of muscle flaps, known as tissue transfer (TT), at the time of abdominoperineal resection (APR) reduces perineal wound complications. A restrospective review of patients undergoing an APR at the University of Washington (1984-2003) was conducted. Perineal wound complications and eventual wound healing were compared in patients with and without TT. Ninety-two patients (mean age, 56.6 years) underwent APR; 23.9 per cent (n = 22) had concurrent TT. Patients undergoing TT were more likely to have cancer (91% vs. 77%, P = 0.05) and radiation therapy (86% vs. 52%, P < 0.01). Operative times were nearly 2 hours longer in patients having TT (7.4 hours ± 2.5 hours vs. 5.6 hours ± 1.8 hours, P = 0.03), but lengths of stay were similar (13 ± 5.9 days vs. 12 ± 7.6 days, P = 0.5). Patients undergoing TT had a higher rate of all wound-healing complications (59% vs. 40%, P = 0.1) and major wound-healing complications (32% vs. 26%, P = 0.6). However, these differences were not statistically significant. No differences in major complications were identified in patients with and without preoperative radiation therapy (26% vs. 28%, P = 0.8). Fifteen per cent (n = 14) of all patients failed to heal wounds at 6 months, but only 9 per cent (n = 2) of patients undergoing TT failed to heal their wounds at 6 months compared with 17 per cent (n = 12) in the non-TT group (P = 0.3). After controlling for important covariates, patients undergoing TT during an APR did not have a significantly lower rate of wound complications. The impact of TT on wound healing in patients with recurrent cancer and preoperative radiation therapy is suggestive of a benefit but requires prospective investigation.


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