Abdomen and Thorax Reconstruction

Abdomen and Thorax Reconstruction - Page

Also known as a Stomach and Chest Wall Reconstruction

What is an Abdomen and Thorax Reconstruction?

Chest wall reconstruction can be complex and continues to pose a formidable challenge. Close collaboration between Dr. Moulton-Barrett can ensure appropriate management of this patient population in order to safely accomplish a desirable and durable outcome. The primary goals of reconstruction surgery is to maintain the structural stability and preservation of physiologic function, as well as an acceptable cosmetic result without compromising the cancer or other primary operation. Two components may be involved; the bony thorax and the soft tissues.

What to expect during the Abdomen and Thorax Reconstruction procedure?

The goals of the reconstruction and the expectations should be discussed with the patient. Multiple factors dictate the type of reconstruction of a chest wall defect. These include the patient’s history and co-morbid conditions, physical stability and hemodymamic status, as well as the ultimate prognosis. A comprehensive understanding of both the anatomy of the defect and the availability of regional tissue for reconstruction of the defect is essential. The location, extent and etiology of the defect will determine the technique that should be used for reconstruction. Subsequently, Dr. Moulton-Barrett can apply the concepts of the reconstructive ladder and select amongst several techniques including tissue expansion, standard flap transposition, and microsurgical composite tissue transplantation.

Surgery can require 2 to 7 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Incisions are made on the abdomen and the abdominal muscles are then mobilized and repositioned to shape the abdominal wall. When layers of tissue are compacted, as in a hernia, the doctor uses special techniques to shift them and spread them out, allowing a tension free closure of the hernia. Next, a synthetic or biological mesh is inserted in the abdominal cavity. Over this mesh, the incisions are closed with non-absorbable sutures.

What to expect during the recovery for Abdomen and Thorax Reconstruction?

Pain during recovery can be moderate to severe. To prevent further strain on the surgery site, a special abdominal binder may be needed during your recovery. You will be given a prescription for pain medication, and an antibiotic. Please refer to Preparing for Surgery for tips about the car, and what to wear home. When you get home you will need plenty of rest. Be sure to stay hydrated. The sooner you can stop taking the narcotic pain pills and switch to Tylenol, the easier your recovery will be. Some women have an easier time in the beginning than others. You may be too tired to shower during the first week, but if your surgeon gives you permission, and you feel up to it, you can shower with the help of a caregiver.

Request a consultation.

To find out more about available treatments and procedures, request a consultation with Dr. Moulton-Barrett at one of his Bay Area offices. Board certified plastic surgeon Rex Moulton-Barrett, M.D., offers advanced care and procedures for Bay Area residents. He has offices in Oakland, San Leandro, Alameda and Brentwood, CA.


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