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AAPS 85th Annual Meeting
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Contemporary Postnatal Plastic Surgical Management of Meningomyelocele
Alan Muskett, MD, William H. Barber, BS, William D. Johnson, PhD, Andrew D. Parent, MD, Michael F. Angel, MD.
University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.

PURPOSE: The goals of this study were to review the outcome of the surgical procedure and hospitalization associated with meningomyelocele repair, and to examine the results of different closure strategies.
METHODS: Eighty-three consecutive patients having surgery for meningomyelocele over a ten year period were studied. Thirty-two closures with a mean defect size preoperatively of 11.5 cm2 were performed by the neurosurgeon (ADP), and fifty-one closures with a mean defect size of 28.4 cm2 by the plastic surgeon (MFA). Defects up to 12 cm2 were closed with local advancement fasciocutaneous flaps. As defect size increased, latissimus muscle flaps were added in 30 (36%) and gluteus muscle in 16 (19%). In recent years, 18 patients (21.6%) with a mean defect of 29 cm2 were treated with overlapping of deepithelialized fasciocutaneous flaps to add an additional layer of coverage to the dural closure.
RESULTS: There were 9 major complications, 6 requiring re-operation. There were 10 minor wound failures managed conservatively. Mean hospital stay was 24.2 days. Re-operation increased hospitalization to 45 days (p<0.0001). Wound failure did not correlate with either defect size or closure technique. Thoracic location was associated with increased wound failure (p<0.05). Use of a shunt did not increase morbidity. All closures remained durable after discharge.
CONCLUSION: Location in the thoracic area predicts major wound failure and need for re-operation. Wound complications significantly increase hospital stay. The use of a variety of techniques to achieve multi-layered closures leads to durable coverage for defects of all sizes.

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