Article

A critical review of biologic mesh use in ventral hernia repairs under contaminated conditions

Department of Surgery, University of California, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S-301, San Francisco, CA, 94143-0104, USA.
Hernia (Impact Factor: 2.09). 01/2013; 17(1). DOI: 10.1007/s10029-012-1037-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: We used an evidence-based approach to determine whether the promotions and claims of superiority of biologic mesh over synthetic mesh use in ventral hernia repairs (VHRs) under contaminated conditions were sound and valid. METHODS: We searched the Medline database to specifically identify review articles relating to biologic mesh and VHR and critically reviewed these studies using an evidence-based approach. RESULTS: For the past 45 years, four clinical reviews and one systematic review have included biologic meshes as part of a larger discussion on available prosthetics for VHR. All reviews supported biologic mesh use, especially in the setting of contaminated fields. Yet, the primary literature included in these reviews and served as the basis for these conclusions consisted entirely of case series and case reports, which have the lowest level of evidence in determining scientific validity. Furthermore, the FDA has neither cleared nor approved this particular use. CONCLUSIONS: The cumulative data regarding biologic mesh use in VHRs under contaminated conditions does not support the claim that it is better than synthetic mesh used under the same conditions. The highly promoted and at least moderately utilized practice of placing biologic mesh in contamination is being done outside of the original intended use, and a re-evaluation of or possible moratorium on biologic mesh use in hernia surgery is seriously warranted. Alternatively, an industry-sponsored national registry of patients in whom ventral hernia repairs involved biologic mesh would substantively add to our understanding regarding how these intriguing biomaterials are being used and their overall clinical efficacy.

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    ABSTRACT: Given the questionable long-term durability of biologic meshes, additional prosthetic options for ventral hernia repairs (VHR) in contaminated fields are necessary. Recent evidence suggests improved bacterial resistance of reduced-weight, large-pore synthetics, giving a potential mesh alternative for repair of contaminated hernias. We aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of 2 institutions' experience implanting lightweight polypropylene synthetic mesh in clean-contaminated and contaminated fields. Open VHRs performed with polypropylene mesh in the retro-rectus position in clean-contaminated and contaminated fields were evaluated. Primary outcomes parameters included surgical site infection, surgical site occurrence, mesh removal, and hernia recurrence. One hundred patients (50 male, 50 female) with a mean age of 60 ± 13 years and a mean body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) of 32 ± 9.3 met inclusion criteria. There were 42 clean-contaminated and 58 contaminated cases. The incidence of surgical site occurrence was 26.2% in clean-contaminated cases and 34% in contaminated cases. The 30-day surgical site infection rate was 7.1% for clean-contaminated cases and 19.0% for contaminated cases. There were a total of 7 recurrences with a mean follow-up of 10.8 ± 9.9 months (range 1 to 63 months). Mesh removal was required in 4 patients: 2 due to early anastomotic leaks, 1 due to stomal disruption and retraction in a morbidly obese patient, and 1 from a long-term enterocutaneous fistula. Although perhaps not yet considered standard of care in the United States, we have demonstrated favorable infection, recurrence, and mesh removal rates associated with the use of synthetic mesh in contaminated VHR.
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