Repair of large abdominal wall defects with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

J J Bauer, B A Salky, I M Gelernt, I Kreel
Annals of Surgery 1987, 206 (6): 765-9
Most abdominal wall incisional hernias can be repaired by primary closure. However, where the defect is large or there is tension on the closure, the use of a prosthetic material is indicated. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) patches were used to repair incisional hernias in 28 patients between November 1983 and December 1986. Twelve of these patients (43%) had a prior failure of a primary repair. Reherniation occurred in three patients (10.7%). Wound infections developed in two patients (7.1%), both of whom had existing intestinal stomas, one with an intercurrent pelvic abscess. The prosthetic patch was removed in the patient with the abscess, but the infection was resolved in the other without sequelae. Septic complications did not occur after any operations performed in uncontaminated fields. None of the patients exhibited any undue discomfort, wound pain, erythema, or induration. Complications related to adhesions, erosion of the patch material into the viscera, bowel obstruction, or fistula formation did not occur. Based on this clinical experience, the authors believe that the PTFE patch appears to represent an advance in synthetic abdominal wall substitutes.

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