The earliest treatment of the median sternotomy defects was serial debridements and secondary healing. The muscle flaps that can be used in reconstruction of the presternal defects are pectoralis major muscle flap, rectus abdominis muscle flap, vertical rectus abdominis muscle flap, latissimus dorsi muscle flap with or without skin island, bipedicled pectoralis-rectus muscle flap, and external oblique muscle flap. Pectoralis major muscle flap can be used either as bilateral or unilateral rotation advancement flap, island flap, turnover flap, split turnover flap, and segmental muscle flap. Forty-eight patients with median sternotomy defects, who were treated with pectoralis major muscle flap, were included in this study. The complications were mortality, flap loss, flap dehiscence, persistent infection, and hematoma. The patients were evaluated in terms of functional loss after the operation by shoulder movement measurements. Various techniques of flap transfer can be used for the closure of a presternal defect; almost all presternal defects can be covered with the pectoralis major muscle in a single stage operation. In our opinion, the pectoralis major muscle flap should be the first choice of treatment for sternal defects.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2008
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