Soft-tissue Repair of Myelomeningocele Defects Using Bilateral Latissimus Dorsi and Trapezius Musculocutaneous Flaps

Ann Plast Surg. 1987 Feb;18(2):147-55. doi: 10.1097/00000637-198702000-00008.


An urgent closure of myelomeningocele defects was carried out in 82 newborns using latissimus and/or trapezius musculocutaneous advancement flaps. A three-layer closure of skin, muscle, and fascia was achieved in a single stage without a flank skin graft. All of the wounds healed within a two-week period and no late breakdown of the wound occurred during the eight-year period of study. The urgent closure maximized the neurological salvage and facilitated early cerebrospinal fluid shunting by preventing both infection and neural desiccation. This report represents the largest number of sequentially treated myelomeningocele defects without a major wound healing problem or death. The advancement musculocutaneous flap closure is safe, simple, and effective and is recommended as the preferred method for closure of the myelomeningocele defect.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meningomyelocele / surgery*
  • Methods
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Healing