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Sternal closure with sandwiched three-piece bioresorbable mesh reduces postoperative hemorrhage: a retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: Median sternotomy is the most performed procedure in cardiac surgery; however, sternal displacement and bleeding remains a problem. This study aimed to investigate whether sternal reconstruction using a sandwiched three-piece bioresorbable mesh plate can prevent postoperative sternal displacement and bleeding more than a bioresorbable pin.

METHODS: Patients (n = 218) who underwent median sternotomy were classified according to whether a sandwiched three-piece bioresorbable mesh plate and wire cerclage (group M, n = 109) or a bioresorbable pin and wire cerclage (group P, n = 109) were used during sternal reconstruction. The causes of postoperative sternal displacement and bleeding with computed tomography data were analyzed and compared between the groups.

RESULTS: The preoperative patient characteristics did not significantly differ between the groups. However, the evaluation of sternal and substernal hematoma on postoperative day 5 using computed tomography showed sternal displacement in 4 (4%) and 22 (20%) patients, and substernal hematoma in 17 (16%) and 41 (38%) patients in groups M and P, respectively; this difference was significant. Furthermore, the amount of bleeding at 6 h postoperatively was lower in group M than in group P (235 ± 147 vs. 284 ± 175 mL, p = 0.0275). Chest reopening, intubation time, and length of intensive care unit and hospital stays did not differ between the groups. The evaluation of substernal hematoma based on computed tomography yielded a significantly lower for group M than for group P, revealing that the mesh plate was an independent predictor of substernal hematoma prevention.

CONCLUSION: Sternal fixation with a three-piece bioresorbable mesh plate could prevent postoperative sternal displacement, bleeding, and substernal hematoma more than sternal fixation with a pin.

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