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Keywords:

  • penile cancer;
  • advanced;
  • vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the role of radical surgical debridement and excision with a vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (VRAM) flap reconstruction in patients with advanced penile cancer and subcutaneous metastatic disease, as the quality of life in such patients is extremely poor, multimodal treatments often fail and the outlook for the patient is limited with the development of uncontrollable disease.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Four patients with advanced penile cancer presenting with fungating, cutaneous tumour deposits received palliative surgical resections for abdominal and inguinal disease. A VRAM flap was used in all cases to achieve tissue coverage.

RESULTS

All grafts were viable and the mean inpatient stay was 14 days. There were no immediate complications after surgery; patient satisfaction and symptom relief was excellent.

CONCLUSIONS

Aggressive palliative resection with a VRAM can dramatically improve the patients’ quality of life in advanced penile cancer, permitting disease control with satisfactory cosmesis. However, a multidisciplinary approach involving both the urological reconstructive and plastic surgeon is essential.