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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-36

Limitations and complications of latissimus dorsi flap: A hospital-based study

1 Department of Surgery, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Physiology, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Shashank Mishra
Department of Surgery, Subharti Medical College, Delhi-Haridwar Bypass Road, NH-58, Meerut - 250 002, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0521.112628

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Objectives : The latissimus dorsi muscle is a large, flat muscle that covers the inferior half of the posterior trunk. It is a very useful natural cover that can be utilized to cover even a wide defect. This study is an attempt to study the limitations of the flap and to describe the complications associated with the latissimus dorsi flap at the donor and recipient sites. This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective study conducted during August 2008 to July 2011 (3 years) with permission from the institutional ethical committee. This study included 23 patients (n = 23) with their or their attendants' informed consent. Materials and Methods : The patients were admitted through plastic surgery outpatient department or referred from orthopaedics department. Flap selection was done regarding size, site, shape of defect, status of surrounding tissue, presence of external fixator, mobility of different joints, and patient comfort. Limitations and complications of this flap were recorded and managed accordingly. The data collection and storage was done on pre-formed working Performa sheets. Results were analyzed using statistical analysis including determining average mean (χ) = ∑x 1 + x 2 +…….x n /n and comparison with previous studies. Results: When used as free-flap or pedicle-flap, latissimus dorsi can cover extensive and distant defects without obvious donor site loss of function. The latissimus dorsi muscle and myocutaneous flap in pedicle-flap or free-flap form has provided a consistently reliable method of reconstruction of head and neck, upper limb, lower limb, chest, abdomen, breast, and myelomeningocele. Conclusions: Vulnerability of the vascular pedicle to kink and bulkiness of the flap precluding its use in small defects were few of the limitations seen in this study.

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