The Umbilicus Free Flap.
The morbidly obese patient has few reliable options if a single free flap is required for large surface area coverage. Usually, a latissimus dorsi muscle would be the primary option. If unavailable, a transverse-oriented abdominal flap based on deep inferior epigastric perforators as either a perforator flap or a muscle sparing type 2 transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap would be an alternative. A central panniculectomy type approach allows primary donor site closure by the cephalad advancement of the intentionally retained ptotic portion of the panniculus. Inclusion of the umbilicus with the free flap, which in this patient subgroup often is at risk for complications if excluded, mitigates against the need for undermining of the upper abdomen. The umbilicus free flap, as part of a panniculectomy, not only minimizes intrinsic flap risks, but also those of the abdominal donor site.
Published In/Presented At
Hallock G. G. (2020). The Umbilicus Free Flap. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 8(9), e3101. https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000003101
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery