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ABSTRACT: Chondrosarcomas are the most common primary chest wall malignancy. The mainstay of treatment is radical resection, which often requires chest wall reconstruction. This presents numerous challenges and more extensive defects mandate the use of microvascular free flaps. Selecting the most appropriate flap is important to the outcome of the surgery. A 71-year-old male presented with a large chondrocarcoma of the chest wall. The planned resection excluded use of the ipsilateral and contralateral pectoralis major flap because of size and reach limitations. The latissimus dorsi flap was deemed inappropriate on logistical grounds as well as potential vascular compromise. The patient was too thin for reconstruction using an abdominal flap. Therefore, following radical tumour resection, the defect was reconstructed with a methyl methacrylate polypropylene mesh plate for chest wall stability and an anterolateral thigh free flap in a single-stage joint cardiothoracic and plastic surgical procedure. The flap was anastomosed to the contralateral internal mammary vessels as the ipsilateral mammary vessels had been resected. The outcome was complete resection of the tumour, no significant impact on ventilation and acceptable cosmesis. This case demonstrates the complex decision making process required in chest wall reconstruction and the versatility of the ALT free flap. The ALT free flap ensured adequate skin cover, subsequent bulk, provided an excellent operative position, produced little loss of donor site function, and provided an acceptable cosmetic result.
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