Randomized clinical trial of vertical or transverse laparotomy for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

N Fassiadis, M Roidl, M Hennig, L M South, S M Andrews
British Journal of Surgery 2005, 92 (10): 1208-11

BACKGROUND: The objective of this randomized trial was to evaluate the incidence of incisional hernia after transverse or vertical incisions for open aortic aneurysm repair.

METHODS: The study group comprised 69 patients who underwent elective aneurysm repair between November 1998 and November 2000 (60 men, nine women; mean age 72.8 (range 56-95) years). Patients were randomized to a transverse (n = 32) or vertical (n = 37) incision for the procedure. Of the 42 patients who were still alive in February 2004, 37 (15 transverse, 22 vertical incisions) attended for review. Laparotomy scars were assessed both clinically and ultrasonographically by the same examiner, to look for incisional hernia.

RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 4.4 years. A multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that the type of incision was the only parameter that significantly influenced the rate of incisional hernia: six of 15 patients with a transverse laparotomy versus 20 of 22 with a vertical laparotomy (P = 0.010).

CONCLUSION: The incidence of incisional hernia was high after aortic aneurysm repair, but was lower in patients who had a transverse incision.

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