Assessment of the selection process for myocutaneous flap repair and surgical complications in pelvic exenteration surgery.

British Journal of Surgery

PubMedID: 23188415

Jacombs AS, Rome P, Harrison JD, Solomon MJ. Assessment of the selection process for myocutaneous flap repair and surgical complications in pelvic exenteration surgery. Br J Surg. 2013;100(4):561-7.
BACKGROUND
This study aimed to explore and quantify the selection process to guide the decision on closure type (myocutaneous flap repair (MFR) or primary closure) for people undergoing pelvic exenteration.

METHODS
This was a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database with review of hospital records for verification and capture of missing data. Associations between four risk factors (previous radiotherapy, previous abdominoperineal resection, need for total exenteration, need for sacrectomy) were assessed individually and collectively as predictors of closure type and wound complications.

RESULTS
A total of 203 pelvic exenteration procedures were reviewed (75 primary and 122 recurrent cancers). Thirty-nine patients (19·2 per cent) had MFR and 164 (80·8 per cent) primary closure. Patients who had MFR were significantly more likely to exhibit each risk factor, confirming the selective decision process. MFR had higher rates of complications across all four risk factors, individually and combined. In the primary closure group, there was a significant correlation between the number of risk factors and the proportion of patients with a complication (r = 0·25, P = 0·008). In contrast, no such relationship was found for the MFR group (r = 0·01, P = 0·973). Among patients who had any complication, the primary closure group had significantly lower rates of any wound dehiscence (15 of 64 versus 17 of 28; P < 0·001) and total infection (16 of 64 versus 14 of 28; P = 0·019) compared with the MFR group.

CONCLUSION
Rates of wound and septic complications after pelvic exenteration were low in patients with fewer than two risk factors who had a primary closure. MFR had significantly higher complication rates, and should be reserved for patients with two or more risk factors or extensive skin involvement.