Large perineal defects can occur after surgery for recurrent malignancy particularly after adjuvant radiotherapy or in complex chronic perineal inflammatory conditions. Quality of life can be severely impaired by perineal wounds or chronic sinuses. Muscle and myocutaneous flaps can be used to close large defects, increase vascular supply to poorly healing wounds, and provide bulk for sitting. We report 5 cases where the gracilis flap was used to repair large perineal defects. The defects were created after wide perineal excision for recurrent tumours associated with radiation damaged skin (2 cases) and after excision of chronic sinuses complicating the perineal wounds after abdominoperineal excision of the anus for inflammatory bowel disease (3 cases).