COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Long-term durability and comfort of laparoscopic ventral hernia repair

Kent C Sasse, Dionne C L Lim, Jared Brandt
JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons 2012, 16 (3): 380-6
23318062

BACKGROUND: Repair of ventral hernias, including primary ventral hernias and incisional ventral hernias, is performed in the United States 90,000 times per year. Open or traditional ventral hernia repairs involve the significant morbidity and expense of a laparotomy and a significant risk of recurrent herniation. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR) may offer a less-invasive alternative with shorter length of hospital stay, fewer cardiopulmonary complications, and low recurrence rates.

METHODS: 225 patients underwent laparoscopic ventral hernia repairs in which carboxymethylcellulose-sodium hyaluronate coating (Sepramesh, Davol, Providence, RI) was used primarily. All cases were included prospectively from the study period of 2002 through 2009. Patient characteristics were recorded, and follow-up analysis was performed over a period of 42 mo following surgery. Recurrence, reoperations, and all complications were recorded. Mesh awareness and mesh-related pain were assessed using the hernia-specific Carolinas Comfort Scale (CCS) instrument, completed by 72 patients.

RESULTS: Over 42 mo of follow-up, 2 ventral hernias have recurred, and no long-term bowel erosion or fistulization has occurred. Little or no mesh-related symptoms were reported, and mean scores for mesh awareness and mesh pain were 3.6 and 3.2, respectively, on a scale from 0 - 40 (lower scores signify less pain or awareness). Two serious early complications occurred related to intestinal ileus and metal tacks producing intestinal perforation, and this led to a change in the tacking devices used.

CONCLUSIONS: LVHR with carboxymethylcellulose-sodium hyaluronate coating (Sepramesh) is safe and effective. Complications are rare, the repair is durable, and long-term results are good with rare recurrences, low awareness of mesh, and little pain. Technical lessons include use of at least one transfascial suture and the avoidance of metal tacks for fixation.

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