[Plastic surgery coverage of osteocutaneous defects of the sternum area with the vertical and transversal rectus abdominis muscle (VRAM/TRAM) flap].

Journal Article (English Abstract;Journal Article)

Longitudinal osteocutaneous defects of the sternal region including the caudal third were reconstructed in 15 patients during a 3-year period by using the "vertical (VRAM)- and transverse rectus abdominis muscle" (TRAM) flap. The majority of the defects resulted from chronic osteomyelitis after previous cardiothoracic surgery or were due to former therapy of breast cancer. Three VRAM/TRAM flaps were primarily transferred as free flaps with microvascular anastomosis in the axilla region. Nine out of 12 pedicled VRAM or TRAM flaps required an additional microvascular anastomosis because of imminent venous or arterial insufficiency ("supercharging"). Therefore, operative technique and operating time of the pedicled and free flap for reconstruction of longitudinal sternal defects are comparable. Adequate reconstruction and rehabilitation was achieved in 11 cases. In 2 patients revision and partial secondary defect coverage was required. Two male patients died postoperatively due to their preexisting condition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Erdmann, D; Küntscher, M; Petracic, A; Sauerbier, M; Menke, H; Schirren, J; Dienemann, H; Germann, G

Published Date

  • September 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1156 - 1160

PubMed ID

  • 11043136

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-4722

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s001040051194


  • ger

Conference Location

  • Germany