Outcome of rectus femoris muscle flaps for groin coverage after vascular surgery

Lina F. Wubbeke, Jurek Z. M. Conings, Jan-Willem Elshof, Marc R. Scheltinga, Jan-Willem H. C. Daemen, Michael J. Jacobs, Barend M. Mees*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the outcome of rectus femoris muscle flaps (RFFs) for deep groin wound complications in vascular surgery patients and to compare the outcome with a cohort of sartorius muscle flaps (SMFs) because the RFF is a promising alternative technique for groin coverage.

Methods: All RFFs and SMFs performed by vascular surgeons in a regional collaboration in The Southern Netherlands were retrospectively reviewed. Primary outcomes were muscle flap survival, overall and secondary graft salvage, and limb salvage. Secondary outcomes were 30-day groin wound complications and mortality, donor site and vascular complications, 1-year amputation-free survival, overall patient survival, impaired knee extensor function, and length of hospital stay.

Results: A total of 96 RFFs were performed in 88 patients (mean age, 68 years; 67% male) and compared with a cohort of 30 SMFs in 28 patients (mean age, 64 years; 77% male). At a mean follow-up of 29 months and 23 months, respectively, comparable flap survival (94% vs 90%), secondary graft salvage (80% vs 92%), and limb salvage (89% vs 90%) rates were found. The 30-day mortality rates were 12% and 17%, respectively, and the 1-year amputation-free survival was comparable between treatment groups (71% vs 68%).

Conclusions: This study presents a large series of RFFs for deep groin wound complications after vascular surgery. We demonstrate that muscle flap coverage using the rectus femoris muscle by vascular surgeons is an effective way to manage complex groin wound infections in a challenging group of patients, achieving similarly good results as the SMF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1057.e2
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Surgical wound infection
  • Vascular prosthesis infection
  • Groin wound reconstruction
  • Rectus femoris muscle flap
  • Sartorius muscle flap

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