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Mesh fixation in open IPOM procedure with tackers or sutures? A randomized clinical trial with preliminary results

M R Langenbach, D Enz
Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 2019 June 24
31236731

PURPOSE: In open intra-peritoneal onlay mesh (IPOM) hernia repair, mesh fixation can be done by tacks, sutures or fibrin glue. There are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on laparoscopic IPOM procedure, but no RCT so far has examined mesh fixation techniques in open IPOM repair.

METHODS: In a single-center RCT, 48 patients undergoing open IPOM repair of an abdominal wall hernia were included. After randomization, surgery was performed in a standardized fashion. Hernia size, extent of mesh fixation, and duration of surgery were documented. The primary endpoint was postoperative pain intensity. Secondary endpoints were: complications, length of stay, quality of life, return to work, hernia recurrence. Follow-up was 1 year in all 48 patients.

RESULTS: After using tacks, mean pain intensity was 16.9, which is slightly lower than after suture fixation (19.6, p = 0.20). The duration of surgery was about the same (83 vs. 85 min). When using tack fixation, significantly more fixation points were applied as compared to sutures (19 vs. 12; p = 0.02), although mesh size was similar. The complication rate was similar (tacks: 6/28 vs. sutures: 3/20). Cost of suture fixation was about 26 €, which is markedly lower than the 180 € associated with tacks. However, surgeons clearly preferred mesh fixation with tacks, because it is more comfortable especially in small hernias.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study failed to show an advantage of tacks over suture fixation and even there are more severe adverse events. Using tacks significantly increases the costs of hernia repair.

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