Use of human dura in pediatric chest wall reconstruction after tumor resection
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The most difficult aspect of the surgical treatment of chest wall tumors is reconstruction of the large residual defect. Materials that have been used include Marlex, Goretex, Vicryl, bone, metal, and fascia. The authors' successful experience with dehydrated human dura (Tutoplast) for moderate-size defects is described. A large Askin's tumor in a 13-year-old boy required resection of the right posterior aspect of the 9th to 11th ribs and the transverse process of T-10, the 12- x 12-cm thoracic defect was closed with dura. Partial soft-tissue coverage was obtained with the latissimus dorsi muscle. Although a scoliosis secondary to paraspinal muscle resection has developed, the chest wall is stable, without evidence of a flail chest, at 18 months of follow-up. A 6-year-old girl underwent left anterior chest wall resection of three ribs for an epithelioid sarcoma. Human dura and a myocutaneous flap were used for reconstruction, with good functional and cosmetic results at 16 months of follow-up. Dura is simple to use, has low antigenicity, and in experimental studies appears to be incorporated into the tissues, acting as a collagen matrix. For moderate-size chest wall defects, it appears to be an excellent alternative to synthetic prosthesis.