Use of the omentum in chest-wall reconstruction

Academic Article


  • Increased use of the omentum in chest-wall reconstruction has paralleled the refinement of anatomic knowledge and the development of safe mobilization techniques. Important anatomic points are the omental attachments to surrounding structures, the major blood supply from the left and right gastroepiploic vessels, and the collateral circulation via the gastroepiploic arch and Barkow's marginal artery. Mobilization of the omentum to the thorax involves division of its attachments to the transverse colon and separation from the greater curvature to fabricate a bipedicled flap. Most anterior chest wounds and virtually all mediastinal wounds can be covered with the omentum based on both sets of gastroepiploic vessels. The arc of transposition is increased when the omentum is based on a single pedicle, allowing coverage of virtually all chest-wall defects. The final method of increasing flap length involves division of the gastroepiploic arch and reliance on Barkow's marginal artery as collateral circulation to maintain flap viability. With regard to chest-wall reconstruction, we have included the omentum in the armamentarium of flaps used to cover mediastinal wounds. The omentum is our flap of choice for the reconstruction of most radiation injuries of the chest wall. The omentum may also be used to provide protection to visceral anastomoses, vascular conduits, and damaged structures in the chest, as well as to cover defects secondary to tumor excision or trauma. In brief, the omentum has proved to be a most dependable and versatile flap, particularly applicable to chest-wall reconstruction.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 11452306
  • Author List

  • Fix RJ; Vasconez LO
  • Start Page

  • 1029
  • End Page

  • 1046
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • 5