Reconstruction of perineal defects.

Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

PubMedID: 24165333

Mughal M, Baker RJ, Muneer A, Mosahebi A. Reconstruction of perineal defects. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2013;95(8):539-44.
Perineal defects are commonly encountered in an oncological setting although they may also present as a result of trauma and infection (eg following Fournier's gangrene). Reconstruction of these poses functional as well as aesthetic challenges. Skin coverage and tissue volume may both be required in addition to anogenital preservation or reconstruction. General prerequisites of an adequate reconstruction of perineal defects include provision of skin cover, well vascularised tissue to fill the dead space (reducing fluid collection and infection), vulvovaginal reconstruction and no faecal or urinary contamination.

A literature search was performed using PubMed and MEDLINE ® . The search terms included 'perineal defects', 'perineal reconstruction', 'perforator flaps for perineum', 'vulval flaps', 'secondary healing of wound' and 'vacuum assisted closure'. Backward chaining of reference lists from retrieved papers was also used to expand the search.

Modern developments have led to an increased expectation in improved quality of life as the main goal of reconstruction, therefore necessitating surgery with less morbidity and early return to normal activity. Progress in microsurgical procedures has been the main recent advance in perineal reconstruction and, in future, refinements in perforator flap design and tissue engineering techniques will lead to even better reconstructions.