Repair of massive ventral hernias with the separation of parts technique: reversal of the 'lost domain'

Ivan Hadad, William Small, Gregory Ara Dumanian
American Surgeon 2009, 75 (4): 301-6
Massive ventral hernia repairs are sometimes complicated by the "loss of domain". The separation of parts hernia repair reverses the loss of domain by increasing intra-abdominal volume, but not by elevating the hemidiaphragms into the thoracic cavity. Hernia repair in patients with a "loss of abdominal domain" is thought to be associated with postoperative pulmonary difficulties. A retrospective chart review was performed on 102 patients treated by a single surgeon. The 10 patients with matching preoperative and postoperative abdominal CT scans were computer-analyzed for intra-abdominal volume changes and diaphragm height measurements. Postoperative pulmonary complications in these 102 patients were recorded. Intra-abdominal volume increased after separation of parts hernia repair from 8600 +/- 2800 mL to 9700 +/- 2700 mL (P = 0.01). Diaphragm height did not statistically change. Two of the 102 patients had prolonged intubations, and seven other patients were ventilated briefly. The separation of parts technique is able to close large ventral hernias without a high incidence of pulmonary complications as a result of its ability to expand the abdominal domain without a change in diaphragmatic height.

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