Recurrence rate after absorbable tack fixation of mesh in laparoscopic incisional hernia repair

M W Christoffersen, E Brandt, F Helgstrand, M Westen, J Rosenberg, H Kehlet, P Strandfelt, T Bisgaard
British Journal of Surgery 2015, 102 (5): 541-7

BACKGROUND: The mesh fixation technique in laparoscopic incisional hernia repair may influence the rates of hernia recurrence and chronic pain. This study investigated the long-term risk of recurrence and chronic pain in patients undergoing laparoscopic incisional hernia repair with either absorbable or non-absorbable tacks for mesh fixation.

METHODS: This was a nationwide consecutive cohort study based on data collected prospectively concerning perioperative information and clinical follow-up. Patients undergoing primary, elective, laparoscopic incisional hernia repair with absorbable or non-absorbable tack fixation during a 4-year interval were included. Follow-up was by a structured questionnaire regarding recurrence and chronic pain, supplemented by clinical examination, and CT when indicated. Recurrence was defined as either reoperation for recurrence or clinical/radiological recurrence.

RESULTS: Of 1037 eligible patients, 84·9 per cent responded to the questionnaire, and 816 were included for analysis. The median observation time for the cohort was 40 (range 0-72) months. The cumulative recurrence-free survival rate was 71·5 and 82·0 per cent after absorbable and non-absorbable tack fixation respectively (P = 0·007). In multivariable analysis, the use of absorbable tacks was an independent risk factor for recurrence (hazard ratio 1·53, 95 per cent c.i. 1·11 to 2·09; P = 0·008). The rate of moderate or severe chronic pain was 15·3 and 16·1 per cent after absorbable and non-absorbable tack fixation respectively (P = 0·765).

CONCLUSION: Absorbable tack fixation of the mesh was associated with a higher risk of recurrence than non-absorbable tacks for laparoscopic mesh repair of incisional hernia, but did not influence chronic pain.


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