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Clinical Experience With the Hatchet-Shaped Gluteus Maximus Musculocutaneous Flap

Jósvay, János MD, PhD; Sashegyi, Mihály MD; Kelemen, Péter MD; Donáth, Antal MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/
Original Article

One of the most frequently used flaps for the coverage of sacral skin and soft-tissue defects (primarily decubiti) is the gluteus maximus musculocutaneous flap. The authors have developed a new, hatchet-shaped incision direction for the flap and have been using it for 6 years in the surgical treatment of various pelvic-area defects with good results. At the beginning, the gluteus maximus hatchet-shaped flap was used for treatment of pressure sores in the pelvic area: sacral decubitus on 31 patients, ischial pressure ulcer on 12 patients, and trochanteric ulcer on 1 patient. However, later the method was applied to nondecubitus defects, such as myelomeningocele on 4 patients, Crohn disease on 3 patients, pilonidal sinus on 2 patients, and traumatic defect on 1 patient, totaling 71 flaps on 54 patients. The seroma (4), hematoma (2), postoperative bleeding (1), and partial flap necrosis (1) healed following emptying and repeated surgery; recurrent ulcer was seen in 2 cases. Advantages of the method are the fewer incisions needed, the shorter operating time, and the smaller blood loss as compared with the methods known so far. The new incision direction improves the safety of circulation in the flap, the closure of the donor site is simpler, and no contour difference remains in the surgical area.

Seventy-one gluteus maximus musculocutaneous flaps with a hatchet-shaped extension were successfully transferred with eight minor complications. Advantages included shorter operating time, smaller blood loss, easier donor site closure, and less contour irregularity.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, St. Imre Hospital of Budapest Metropolitan Autonomy, Budapest, Hungary.

Received March 7, 2005; accepted for publication April 14, 2005.

Reprints: János Jósvay, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic Surgery, St. Imre Hospital of Budapest Metropolitan Autonomy, 1115-H, Budapest, Tétényi út 12-16, Hungary. E-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.