This study provides a retrospective analysis of 60 patients who underwent thoracic reconstruction with the omentum. Patients were identified by searching several databases to determine demographics, indications for surgery, operative technique, and postoperative course, including donor and recipient site morbidity. From January 1975 to May 2000, the authors harvested and transferred the omentum successfully (57 pedicled, 3 free) in 60 patients (mean age, 60 years; age range, 21-86 years) for sternal wound infections (N = 34), chest wall resections (N = 17), pectus deformities (N = 2), intrathoracic defects (N = 4), and breast reconstruction (N = 3). The omentum was used as a primary flap in 39 patients and as a salvage flap in 21 patients. Average operative time was 3.9 hours and average hospital stay was 34.3 days. Partial flap loss occurred in 7 patients, with no total flap failures. Morbidity included six abdominal wound infections and seven epigastric hernias. Mortality was 11.7%. The omentum can be harvested safely and used reliably to reconstruct varying thoracic wounds and defects. Specific indications from this series include osteoradionecrosis, chest wall tumors, massive sternal wounds, and refractory mediastinitis.
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