Large abdominal wall defects resulting from trauma or oncological surgery can be challenging to reconstruct. Synthetic mesh can be used, but avoiding inclusion of foreign material may be preferred.
To describe the use of a novel internal abdominal oblique muscle flap in a dog.
A seven-year-old, 20 kg, male Australian kelpie had surgery to remove the right 12 and 13th rib (osteosarcoma) and a biopsy scar five cm caudal to the tumour with 3 cm lateral margins and the full thickness of the abdominal wall. The diaphragm was advanced to close the thorax. The external abdominal oblique was not available for reconstruction. A muscle flap was created from the remaining caudal internal abdominal oblique (Figure 1); a 15 cm wide base was preserved adjacent to the lumbar spine, the caudal border extended cranioventrally parallel with the muscle fibres and the ventral border created by incising through the insertion aponeurosis. The flap was rotated 90 degrees cranially to cover the dorsal aspect of the defect and secured with simple interrupted PDS 2-0 to the remaining latissimus dorsi. The distal defect was closed by apposing the facia of the rectus abdominis to the distal edge of the flap.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the internal abdominal oblique has been described to create a flap to close major abdominal defects in a dog. To date (three months post-operatively) there are no complications.
The internal abdominal oblique muscle is a useful option to assist in closing major abdominal wall defects.