Intraperitoneal polypropylene mesh repair of incisional hernia is not associated with enterocutaneous fistula

W W Vrijland, J Jeekel, E W Steyerberg, P T Den Hoed, H J Bonjer
British Journal of Surgery 2000, 87 (3): 348-52

BACKGROUND: Incisional hernia repair with prosthetic material is followed by fewer recurrences than primary repair. Polypropylene is the most commonly used prosthetic material but may cause entero- cutaneous fistulas. The aim of this study was to determine whether enterocutaneous fistulas developed after incisional hernia repair with polypropylene mesh and to evaluate clinical outcome after incisional hernia repair.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the outcome of incisional hernia repair with polypropylene mesh between 1982 and 1998 was conducted. Follow-up data were obtained from medical records and questionnaires.

RESULTS: Polypropylene incisional hernia repair was performed in 136 patients. Median follow-up was 34 months. No enterocutaneous fistulas developed. Wound infection occurred in 6 per cent. Wound sinus formation occurred in two patients. No mesh was removed because of infection and no persisting infection of the mesh occurred.

CONCLUSION: Enterocutaneous fistula formation appears to be very rare after incisional hernia repair with polypropylene mesh, regardless of intraperitoneal placement, omental coverage or closing of the peritoneum.

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