RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Evaluation of surgical outcomes of retro-rectus versus intraperitoneal reinforcement with bio-prosthetic mesh in the repair of contaminated ventral hernias.

INTRODUCTION: Hernia repairs in contaminated fields are often reinforced with a bioprosthetic mesh. When choosing which of the multiple musculofascial abdominal wall planes provides the most durable repair, there is little guidance. We hypothesized that the retro-rectus plane would reduce recurrence rates versus intraperitoneal placement due to greater surface area contact of mesh with well-vascularized tissue.

METHODS: Forty-nine of the 80 patients in an ongoing, prospective, multicenter study of contaminated ventral hernia repairs (RICH study, NCT00617357) achieved fascial closure after musculofascial centralization and reinforcement with non-crosslinked porcine acellular dermal matrix (Strattice™, LifeCell, Branchburg, NJ) and were retrospectively analyzed. The Strattice was placed in the retro-rectus position in 23 patients and in the intraperitoneal position in 26.

RESULTS: Subjects were comparable in age, obesity, prior wound infection, presence of a stoma, and infected mesh removal (p > 0.05). More smokers were present in the intraperitoneal group (p = 0.02). Retro-rectus defects were significantly wider and had larger area than the intraperitoneal repairs. At the 1-year follow-up, 44 (90%) of patients were available for review. There was no difference in wound infections, seromas, or hematomas. Recurrent hernias were identified in 10% of retro-rectus repairs and 30% of intraperitoneal repairs (p = 0.14).

CONCLUSIONS: In this retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter study of large, contaminated ventral hernias, despite a larger hernia defect in the retro-rectus group, placement of the mesh in the retro-rectus compartment resulted in a similar recurrence rate to intraperitoneal mesh placement. Ongoing evaluation is important to establish longer-term outcomes and the validity of these findings.

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