International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 1227–1232 | Cite as

Omental flaps in patients undergoing abdominoperineal resection for rectal cancer

  • Vanessa M. WeltenEmail author
  • Adam C. Fields
  • Pamela Lu
  • Joel E. Goldberg
  • Jennifer Irani
  • Ronald Bleday
  • Nelya MelnitchoukEmail author
Original Article



Following abdominoperineal resection (APR) for rectal cancer, perineal wound complications are common. Omental flap creation may allow for decreased morbidity. The aim of this study was to assess wound complications in rectal cancer patients undergoing APR with and without the addition of an omental flap.


The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Proctectomy targeted database from 2016 to 2017 was used to identify all patients undergoing APR for rectal cancer. The primary outcomes were wound complications such as superficial site infection, deep wound infection, organ space infection, and wound dehiscence.


There were 3063 patients identified. One hundred seventy-three (5.6%) patients underwent APR with an omental flap repair while 2890 (94.4%) patients underwent APR without an omental flap repair. Patients in both groups were similar with regard to age, gender, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesia class, and neoadjuvant cancer treatment (all p > 0.05). Patients who underwent an omental flap repair were significantly more likely to have a postoperative organ space infection (10.4% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.04). There was no significant difference in rates of superficial site infection, deep wound infection, wound dehiscence, or reoperation between the two patient groups. In multivariable analysis, omental flap creation was independently associated with organ space infection (OR 1.72, 95%CI 1.02–2.90, p = 0.04).


This is the largest study to evaluate omental flap use in rectal cancer patients undergoing APR. Omental flaps are independently associated with organ space infection.


Rectal cancer Omental flap Postoperative infection 


Author contributions

All authors had substantial contributions to design of work, drafted work, made final approval, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Compliance with ethical standards




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa M. Welten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adam C. Fields
    • 1
  • Pamela Lu
    • 1
  • Joel E. Goldberg
    • 1
  • Jennifer Irani
    • 1
  • Ronald Bleday
    • 1
  • Nelya Melnitchouk
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Colorectal SurgeryBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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