In vivo evaluation of a novel mesh suture design for abdominal wall closure

Jason M Souza, Zari P Dumanian, Anandev N Gurjala, Gregory A Dumanian
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2015, 135 (2): 322e-30e

BACKGROUND: The authors present a novel mesh suture design aimed at minimizing the early laparotomy dehiscence that drives ventral hernia formation. The authors hypothesized that modulation of the suture-tissue interface through use of a macroporous structure and increased aspect ratio (width-to-height ratio) would decrease the suture pull-through that leads to laparotomy dehiscence.

METHODS: Incisional hernias were produced in 30 rats according to an established hernia model. The rat hernias were randomized to repair with either two 5-0 polypropylene sutures or two midweight polypropylene mesh sutures. Standardized photographs were taken before repair and 1 month after repair. Edge-detection software was used to define the border of the hernia defect and calculate the defect area. Histologic analysis was performed on all mesh suture specimens.

RESULTS: Seventeen hernias were repaired with mesh sutures and 13 were repaired with conventional sutures. The mean area of the recurrent defects following repair with mesh suture was 177.8 ± 27.1 mm2, compared with 267.3 ± 34.1 mm2 following conventional suture repair. This correlated to a 57.4 percent reduction in defect area after mesh suture repair, compared with a 10.1 percent increase in defect area following conventional suture repair (p < 0.0007). None (zero of 34) of the mesh sutures pulled through the surrounding tissue, whereas 65 percent (17 of 26) of the conventional sutures demonstrated complete pull-through. Excellent fibrocollagenous ingrowth was observed in 13 of 17 mesh suture specimens.

CONCLUSIONS: Mesh sutures better resisted suture pull-through than conventional polypropylene sutures. The design elements of mesh sutures may prevent early laparotomy dehiscence by more evenly distributing distracting forces at the suture-tissue interface and permitting tissue incorporation of the suture itself.

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