A Case Series of Robot-assisted Rectus Abdominis Flap Harvest for Pelvic Reconstruction: A Single Institution Experience

Rachael Haverland, Alanna M. Rebecca, Jacob Hammond, Johnny Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Objective: To analyze outcomes and postoperative complications in patients undergoing robot-assisted rectus abdominis flap harvest for pelvic floor reconstruction. Design: Case series. Setting: Academic setting. Patients: Pelvic reconstruction surgery patients. Interventions: The rectus abdominis muscle flap can be used as a flap for pelvic reconstruction, providing a large volume of soft tissue that can be used in the treatment of many comorbid conditions, including genital fistulas, postradiation pelvic exenteration, and abdominoperineal resection defects. Intraperitoneal harvest of the rectus muscle using a robotic approach allows avoidance of laparotomy and subsequent disruption of the anterior rectus sheath, thus preserving the integrity of the abdominal wall. Measurements and Main Results: A retrospective analysis of patient demographic and clinical characteristics was performed for all patients who underwent robot-assisted rectus abdominis flap harvest for pelvic floor reconstruction at our institution from October 1, 2016, to October 31, 2018. The postoperative complications analyzed included bowel obstructions, surgical site infections, emergency room visits, and need for readmission. Six patients (4 women and 2 men), with a mean age of 69.2 years (range = 57–79 years) and median follow-up time of 9.2 months (range = 5–12 months), were included. Muscle flap harvest was performed on the right side in 4 patients and on the left in 2 patients. The indications for reconstructive surgery included vesicovaginal fistula, complex pelvic organ prolapse, anterior and posterior exenteration, partial and total vaginectomy, partial vulvectomy, and abdominoperineal resection. Two patients received neoadjuvant chemoradiation. One of the 6 cases was converted to laparotomy; however, this was not owing to the rectus harvest. Three patients experienced no complications after reconstruction; 1 patient reported occasional abdominal pain; 1 patient had intermittent bowel obstruction; and 1 patient developed a pelvic abscess, requiring readmission. All 6 patients achieved satisfactory healing of the pelvic wound after robot-assisted rectus abdominis flap inset. Conclusion: Robot-assisted rectus abdominis flap harvest for pelvic floor reconstruction is a reliable means of defect closure, despite the presence of substantial comorbidities and risk factors in this patient cohort. Patient selection and counseling are crucial to optimize surgical outcomes in this complex population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-248
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Pelvic reconstruction
  • Rectus flap
  • Recurrent prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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