The frequency of external genital lesions in armed conflicts can reach up to 5%. The complexity of gunshot wounds is the presence of significant soft tissue defects, widespread necrosis around the wound, the possibility of progression in the hours and days after injury, the high probability of infection, and the presence of foreign bodies.
The tactics of gunshot wounds are determined by the location, nature and extent of damage to soft tissues, organs, large vessels, nerves, bones and includes several stages. At the initial stage, bleeding is stopped, hematomas and foreign bodies are evacuated, non-viable tissues are removed, drainages are installed and skin defects are closed. The stage of reconstructive surgery can be started when the active wound process is over.
In this report, we present a clinical case of a 22-year-old man who received a gunshot wound to the right groin, upper third of the right thigh, perineum and external genitalia in a combat zone of Operation Allied Forces, Ukraine. Bullet wound led to: damage to the skin and subcutaneous tissue in the right buttock, right groin, on the inner surface of the upper third of the thigh, penis (skin defect up to 1/3 of the circumference), scrotum, partial destruction of corpora cavernosa, m. iliopsoas and adductor muscles of the thigh, sphincter of the rectum, crushing of the right testicle. The wound was contaminated with earth and foreign bodies
At the initial stage, the patient underwent: primary surgical treatment of a gunshot wound, suturing of cavernous bodies with sutures, fixation of the penis in the groin, removal of the right testicle, tamponade of the wound, sigmostomy (due to sphincter damage). Subsequently, the patient underwent regular surgical treatment of wounds, a vacuum suction system VAC was installed. After 7 months (upon completion of the healing process) suturing of the sigmostoma was performed. After 2 months, the penis and the scrotum were reconstructed. Preoperative examination (ultrasound of the penis with assessment of cavernous hemodynamics, MRI) revealed: post-traumatic scarring of the soft tissues of the right groin, inner surface of the right thigh, buttocks, right inguinal canal of the penis and scrotum, deformation of the cavernous cavity, normal indicators of cavernous blood circulation.
In the early postoperative period (2 months after the intervention), the patient indicated satisfaction with the cosmetic and functional results, the preservation of morning erections, moderate discomfort in the penis during erection. Prosthetics of the right testicle are planned.
The clinical case once again confirms the need for qualified surgical care during the first “golden” hour and subsequent phased treatment at a specialized level using the VAC therapy system in patients with gunshot wounds and large soft tissue defects.
The experience of military medicine demonstrates the importance of involving specialists of various profiles in the treatment of combined gunshot wounds of the pelvis. An important stage of treatment in the wounded is plastic and reconstructive surgery in the long term, which is aimed at improving the functional, cosmetic and psychological results of treatment.
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