Vaginal reconstruction after extended radical pelvic surgery for cancer: Comparison of two techniques

Mario Rietjens, Angelo Maggioni, Luca Bocciolone, Mario Sideri, Omar Youssef, Jean Yves Petit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An immediate partial or total vaginal reconstruction is frequently proposed in cases of exenterative or extended radical pelvic surgery for cancer treatment. One of the main complications after this reconstruction is the vagina obliteration caused by the healing process. This study compares the results of two different reconstructive techniques, particularly focusing on general complications and the risk of vaginal occlusion. A transversus rectus abdominis musculoperitoneal (TRAMP) composite flap has been performed in five cases, and an inverted inferior transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap (TRAM) has been used in another five cases. Recovery was uneventful in eight cases. One patient (case 5) developed an aortofemoral embolism requiring a bilateral transfemoral embolectomy and heparin administration. Another patient (case 9) experienced severe peritonitis because of the partial leak of the rectal anastomosis, and therefore a Mikulicz's colostomy was performed. Four patients who underwent the TRAMP flap developed a complete closure of the neovagina. In one patient with a TRAMP flap, a severe shortening (2 cm) of the neovagina occurred. Five patients out of five who underwent a reconstruction with a TRAM flap had a stable length of the neovagina (6 to 12 cm) and no shrinkage in diameter occurred, even though a vaginal stent was not used. The conventional inferior TRAM flap with a skin paddle seems to better maintain a stable length of the neovagina than the TRAMP composite flap with peritoneum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1597
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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