ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-71

Penile and scrotal defects post-Fournier gangrene: reconstructive options and challenges in resource limited settings


1 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Titus Osita Chukwuanukwu
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njps.njps_12_20

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Introduction: Penile and scrotal defects following necrotizing fasciitis (Fournier gangrene) of the perineum in males can be a source of great morbidity and psychological concern to the patients inflicted with such a problem. In severe cases, it can result in mortality. Reconstruction of extensive defects/ulcers can be challenging in resource limited settings due to limited availability of tools such as doppler ultrasound/stethoscope, loupes, and operating microscopes for microsurgical procedures. Fournier gangrene is usually managed by the urologists in most centers in collaboration with the plastic surgeons for reconstruction of more extensive defects. Objective: The aim of the study was to review the penile and reconstructive options deployed for post-Fournier gangrene patients over a 3-year period (April 2017 to March 2020) in a tertiary hospital setting highlighting options utilized, indications for the respective options, and challenges encountered. Methodology: Case notes of Fournier gangrene patients offered penoscrotal reconstruction by the urology and plastic surgical teams within the period were retrieved, reviewed, and relevant data useful in achieving the above objectives extracted for analysis. Clinical photographs of some of the patients were included for illustration. Results: Twenty patients (20) that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Fourteen (70%) had defects involving both the scrotum and the penis, five (25%) involved the scrotum alone, while one (5%) had defect on the penis alone. Four (20%) had diabetes mellitus, three (15%) had HIV infection, and two (10%) had hypertension. Seventy percent (14) of the patients had secondary wound repair by direct closure, 5% (one) had split skin grafting alone, 5% (one) had a combination of split skin grafting and local advancement flap, and 20% (four) required the use of available locoregional flap [three being bilateral scrotal advancement flaps and one being bilateral pudendal thigh (Singapore) flap]. Healing was satisfactory in all the patients although two of them (10%) had surgical site infection whereas one (5%) had mild wound dehiscence, but all healed within 2 weeks. Conclusion: Post-Fournier gangrene defects can be reconstructed using several options, the choice of which is dependent on the size of the defect, elasticity of residual scrotal skin, status of defined locoregional pedicles, availability of modern diagnostic and operating equipment, and expertise of the surgeon. Collaboration between the urologists and the plastic surgeons is recommended for optimal outcome.


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