Is prosthetic umbilical hernia repair bound to replace primary herniorrhaphy in the adult patient?

A Arroyo Sebastián, F Pérez, P Serrano, D Costa, I Oliver, R Ferrer, J Lacueva, R Calpena
Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 2002, 6 (4): 175-7
Given the outstanding outcome that prosthetic repair has recently achieved in the repair of inguinal hernia, we wonder whether it should be implemented as the gold-standard technique for umbilical hernia repair. We report on 213 adult patients who underwent surgery for umbilical hernia at our Day Surgery Unit from June 1992 to January 1998. Criteria for exclusion included problematic social and family environment and ASA IV status. A polypropylene plug was placed in small umbilical defects, whereas large defects (> 3 cm in diameter) were repaired with a polypropylene mesh. The mean follow-up was 64 months. The mean age was 57.1 years, with females accounting for the majority (57.8%). Most patients (88.3%) were classified as ASA I-II. With regard to the hernia size, 143 patients (67.1%) presented with small defects (< 3 cm). The anaesthetic technique of choice was local plus sedation. Reported complications included seroma (5.6%), haematoma (2.3%), wound infection (1.4%), and intolerance to prosthesis (0.95%), the last causing recurrence. The overall recurrence rate at a mean follow-up of 64 months was 0.95%. Prosthetic umbilical hernia repair can safely be performed in adults, and the rate of recurrence in this study is low in comparison to primary tissue repair.

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