Porcine dermal collagen (Permacol) for abdominal wall reconstruction

David M Parker, Peter J Armstrong, James D Frizzi, James H North
Current Surgery 2006, 63 (4): 255-8

OBJECTIVE: A review of Eisenhower Army Medical Center's experience using Permacol (Tissue Science Laboratories, Covington, Georgia) for the repair of abdominal wall defects.

METHODS: Retrospective review of medical records of patients undergoing abdominal wall reconstruction with Permacol.

RESULTS: From July 30, 2003 to February 12, 2005, 9 patients underwent repair of complicated fascial defects with Permacol. Indications for surgery included reoperative incisional hernia repair after removal of a infected mesh (3 patients), reconstruction of a fascial defect after resection of an abdominal wall tumor (2 patients), incisional hernia repair in a patient with a previous abdominal wall infection after a primary incisional hernia repair (1 patient), incisional hernia repair in a patient with an ostomy and an open midline wound (1 patient), emergent repair of incisional hernia with strangulated bowel and multiple intra-abdominal abscesses (1 patient), and excision of infected mesh and drainage of intra-abdominal abscess with synchronous repair of the abdominal wall defect (1 patient). At a median follow-up of 18.2 months, 1 recurrent hernia existed after intentional removal of the Permacol. This patient developed an abdominal wall abscess 7 months after hernia repair secondary to erosion from a suture. Overall, 1 patient developed exposure of the Permacol after a skin dehiscence. The wound was treated with local wound care, and the Permacol was salvaged. Despite the presence of contamination (wound classification II, III, or IV) in 5 of 9 patients (56%), no infectious complications occurred.

CONCLUSION: Complex reconstruction of the abdominal wall can be associated with a high complication rate. Placement of a permanent prosthetic mesh in a contaminated field is associated with a high rate of wound infections and subsequent mesh removal. Permacol becomes incorporated by tissue ingrowth and neovascularization. Permacol is a safe and acceptable alternative to prosthetic mesh in the repair of complicated abdominal wall defects.

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