Small bowel lesion due to spiral tacks after laparoscopic intraperitoneal onlay mesh repair for incisional hernia

Tobias Haltmeier, Yves Groebli
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 2013, 4 (3): 283-5

INTRODUCTION: Laparoscopic intraperitoneal onlay mesh (IPOM) repair has become a widely accepted operative technique for incisional hernias. However, tack fixation poses the risk of adhesions and injury to the intestine. We report the case of spiral tacks adherent to the small bowel after IPOM repair for incisional hernia.

PRESENTATION OF CASE: 64 years old male patient who underwent laparoscopic IPOM repair for incisional hernia 1 year after open sigmoid resection. A laminated polypropylene mesh was fixed with titanium spiral tacks. 4 years later, elective open cholecystectomy was performed. Two spiral tacks integrated in the seromusular layer of the small bowel were encountered. Tacks were removed and bowel lesions oversewn with interrupted seromuscular stitches.

DISCUSSION: According to the current literature, complications related to metal spiral tacks in IPOM mesh repair such as intestinal perforation or strangulation ileus seem to be rare. To our knowledge, spiral tacks adherent to the intestine have not yet been published to date. Alternative techniques for mesh fixation are transfascial sutures with single stitches, continuous sutures or fibrin glue, as already used in TAPP and TEP procedures for inguinal hernia repair. The ideal and safest technique for mesh fixation in IPOM repair for incisional hernias remains controversial.

CONCLUSION: Spiral tacks used for intraperitoneal mesh fixation can lead to adhesions and bowel lesions. Sutures, absorbable tacks or fibrin glue are alternatives for mesh fixation. Further clinical trials are needed to evaluate the safest technique of laparoscopic IPOM incisional hernia repair.

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