This paper aims to simplify the approach to reconstruction of the perineum after resection of malignancies of the anal canal, lower rectum, vulva, and vagina.
Materials and Methods
The data were collected from 2 centers, namely, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and Christchurch Hospital, University of Otago, New Zealand. All patients who underwent perineal reconstruction from 1997 to 2009 at Christchurch Hospital (13 years) and 2001 to 2009 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (9 years) were included. The diagnosis (indication), primary surgery, reconstructive surgery, complications, tumor outcomes (recurrence and survival), and follow-up were entered into a database (Microsoft Excel; Redmond, Wash). The incidence of previous radiotherapy, requirement for adjuvant radiotherapy, and length of inpatient stay were also recorded.
Forty-six patients were identified for this study—13 in New Zealand and 33 in Cambridge. Indications for perineal reconstruction included resection of anal and rectal malignancies (24), vulval and vaginal malignancy (19), perineal sarcoma (1), and perineal squamous cell carcinoma arising in an enterocutaneous fistula (Table 1). The reconstructive strategies adopted included rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps (26), gluteal fold flaps (9), gracilis V-Y or advancement flaps (7) and others (4), gluteal rotation flaps (1), local flap (2), and free latissimus dorsi flaps (1).
Although various surgeons performed the reconstructive surgeries at 2 different centers, the essential approach remained the same. Smaller defects were best treated by local flaps, whereas the rectus abdominis flap remained the standard option for larger defects that additionally required closure of dead space. On the basis of our 2 center experience, we propose a simple algorithm to facilitate the planning of reconstructive surgery for the perineum.