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Keywords:

  • musculocutaneous latissimus dorsi free flap;
  • penis;
  • total phalloplasty

Authors from Serbia describe their experience of total phalloplasty in children and adults using a musculocutaneous latissimus dorsi free flap, finding that this method successfully allowed the creation of a neophallus, facilitating subsequent urethroplasty and the safe insertion of a penile prosthesis.

In the second article in this section, authors from Finland present the findings in 54 patients relating to skeletal health after intestinal bladder augmentation.

OBJECTIVE

To present total phalloplasty in children and adults using a musculocutaneous latissimus dorsi (MLD) free flap to create a large neophallus, that allows easy urethroplasty and implantation of a prosthesis.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

From April 1999 to January 2006, 16 patients (mean age 24 years, range 10–34) had a total phalloplasty; the indications were congenital anomalies of the penis in 12, iatrogenic in two and accidental penile trauma in two. The MLD flap is mobilized on a subscapular artery and vein, and a thoracodorsal nerve. The neophallus is created on-site and after dividing the neurovascular pedicle, transferred to the pubic region, where it is anastomosed with the femoral artery, saphenous vein and ilio-inguinal nerve. The donor site was closed directly in 15 patients while in one a split-thickness skin graft was used to cover the defect. In the following stages, two- or three-stage buccal mucosa urethroplasty was used in 11 patients; a penile prosthesis was implanted in seven.

RESULTS

The mean (range) follow-up was 31 (12–74) months; the penis was 14–18 cm long and 11–15 cm in circumference. There was no partial or total flap necrosis; the donor site healed satisfactorily in 13 patients while in the remaining three there was moderate scarring. The patency of the urethra was good in all patients. Two urethrocutaneous fistulae developed; one closed spontaneously and the other was successfully treated with minor surgery. The function of the implanted penile prostheses was satisfactory in all patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The MLD flap allows the creation of a neophallus of good size and with a good aesthetic appearance; it allows urethroplasty and safe implantation of a penile prosthesis, and it can also be used in children.