Arch Plast Surg.  2021 May;48(3):254-260. 10.5999/aps.2020.01746.

Myelomeningocele defect reconstruction with keystone flaps: vascular rationale for the design and operative technique

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Hospital General de México (Mexico’s General Hospital), Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Hospital Infantil de México (Mexico’s Children’s Hospital), Mexico City, Mexico


Myelomeningocele is a frequently seen condition at tertiary care hospitals. Its treatment involves a variety of plastic reconstructive techniques. Herein, we present a series of myelomeningocele patients treated using keystone flaps.
We gathered information regarding soft tissue reconstruction and the use of bilateral keystone flaps to treat myelomeningocele patients. We obtained data from clinical records and recorded the demographic characteristics of mothers and children with the condition. The size, level of defect, and complications detected during the follow-up were analyzed.
A series of seven patients who underwent bilateral keystone flaps for myelomeningocele closure was analyzed. There were no cases of midline or major dehiscence, flap loss, necrosis, surgical site infections, or cerebrospinal fluid leakage. No revision procedures were performed. Minor complications included one case with minimal seroma and three cases with areas of peripheral dehiscence that healed easily using conventional measures.
The use of keystone flaps is an adequate option for closure of dorsal midline soft tissue defects related to myelomeningocele. This technique offers predictable results with an acceptable spectrum of complications. Robust blood flow can be predicted based upon anatomical knowledge.


Surgery, plastic / Spinal dysraphism / Meningomyelocele / Surgical flaps
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