Twelve years of component separation technique in abdominal wall reconstruction

Sean R Maloney, Kathryn A Schlosser, Tanushree Prasad, Kevin R Kasten, Keith S Gersin, Paul D Colavita, Kent W Kercher, Vedra A Augenstein, B Todd Heniford
Surgery 2019, 166 (4): 435-444

BACKGROUND: Component separation technique involves incision of abdominal muscle and its aponeurosis, which generates a myofascial advancement flap to assist with fascial closure in abdominal wall reconstructions. This tissue mobilization allows for musculo-fascial approximation of much larger abdominal wall defects than would otherwise be possible. With extensive tissue mobilization, however, there is concern for significant wound and systemic complications.

METHODS: A prospective, single institution hernia database was queried for patients undergoing component separation from January 2006 to May 2018. Emergency operations were excluded. Anterior component separation (external oblique release with posterior rectus sheath release) and posterior component separation (transversus abdominus release and posterior rectus sheath release) were examined.

RESULTS: Of the 775 component separation, 33.4% included anterior component separation and 66.6% posterior component separation. Mean age was 58.8 ± 11.5 years, mean body mass index was 33.6 ± 7.1 (kg/m2 ), and 27.9% of patients were diabetic. Hernias were large (280.0 ± 220.9 cm2 ) and often complex (recurrent: 62.6%, incarcerated: 41.5%, concomitant panniculectomy: 39.1%, and contaminated: 37.0%). Defect size was larger in anterior component separation group compared with posterior component separation (379.5 ± 265.2 vs 230.0 ± 175.0 cm2 , P < .001). There was a 35.1% wound complication rate with 32 recurrences (4.1%) during a mean follow-up of 23.3 ± 25.1 months. Complete fascial closure and lack of wound complications significantly improved outcomes (P < .01). Patients undergoing anterior component separation demonstrated more wound complications (42.9% vs 31.2%, P < .001) and recurrences (7.0% vs 2.7%, P = .005). In multivariate analysis, anterior component separation was associated with increased risk of wound complications (odds ratio 1.660; confidence interval, 1.125-2.450), but not recurrence (odds ratio 2.95; confidence interval, 0.72-12.19). Since 2013, prehabilitation and perforator sparing techniques reduced anterior component separation wound complications to 19.6% (P = .008).

CONCLUSION: Both anterior component separation and posterior component separation are associated with low recurrence rates, but anterior component separation is associated with higher wound complications. Prehabilitation and operative techniques improve outcomes of component separation.

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