Tissue Plug Technique for Management of Large Chronic Empyema Defects and Bronchopleural Fistulas

Hung Chi Chen, Sukru Yazar, Ali Engin Ulusal, Yi Tien Liu, Christopher J. Salgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


After multiple thoracotomies, local muscles are often transected or sacrificed for the treatment of intrathoracic infection. In these conditions, free tissue transfers are described as an alternative. Five anterolateral thigh musculocutaneous free flaps were used for the treatment ofcomplicated large chronic empyema defects and bronchopleural fistulas with a special flap inset and gauze-packing method, the so-called tissue plug technique. All flaps survived completely without complication. There was no sign of recurrent infection, and the bronchopleural fistulas were sealed and the empyema cavities completely obliterated. We concluded that the tissue plug technique is an alternative for the management of difficult empyema cavities and bronchopleural fistulas in selected patients where the soft tissue flap is not enough to fill the complete dead spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Chronic empyema
  • Free soft tissue transfer
  • Tissue plug technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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