Gracilis myocutaneous vaginal reconstruction concurrent with total pelvic exenteration

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      The gracilis myocutaneous vaginal reconstruction is commonly performed in patients undergoing a total pelvic exenteration. This retrospective review compares the operative and perioperative morbidity in 107 patients who underwent reconstruction with that in 44 patients who did not have reconstruction. With incorporation of the reconstructive procedure, there were no increases in operating time, blood loss, or length of hospitalization. Before 1980, 65% of patients experienced prolapse of the neovagina; in 25% it was severe. The frequency of prolapse has since been decreased to 16% (6% severe) because of several modifications to the initial technique. Modifications have included using smaller flaps, anchoring the neovagina to the levator and retropubic fascia, and, when necessary for mobilization, ligating the neurovascular pedicle. With these modifications, 66% of patients also remained free of wound breakdown or necrosis. The frequency of severe necrosis has decreased from 24% to 13%. The anatomic result of the vaginal reconstructions appears to have been enhanced by these changes in technique. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1989;160:1095-101.)

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