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Arch Surg. 2007 Aug;142(8):746-9; discussion 749-51.

Autologous tissue reconstruction of ventral hernias in morbidly obese patients.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Ave, Room C-341, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.



Separation of components is a safe and effective technique for abdominal wall reconstruction in morbidly obese patients.


Review of a prospectively accumulated database.


University tertiary care medical center.


Thirty morbidly obese patients who underwent ventral hernia repair using the separation of components technique between August 1, 2001, and August 31, 2005.


Ventral hernia repair using the separation of components technique.


Postoperative complications and hernia recurrence.


Thirty morbidly obese patients (mean body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared], 61; range, 35-93) underwent ventral hernia repair by the separation of components technique (mean width of defect, 12.8 cm; mean length, 17.6 cm). Twenty-five patients (83%) had comorbidities. Twelve (40%) had undergone previous repairs (9 had undergone multiple repairs; mean, 2.4 repairs per patient; range, 2-4 repairs) and 6 (20%) had infected mesh. Sixteen patients (53%) underwent simultaneous panniculectomies and 6 (20%) underwent simultaneous bariatric procedures (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass). Postoperatively, cellulitis developed in 2 patients (7%), which was treated with antibiotics; wound infections occurred in 2 patients (7%), which were managed with local wound care; and a seroma developed in 1 patient (3%), which resolved spontaneously. The lone recurrent hernia (3%) was repaired with mesh. The mean length of follow-up was 44 months.


These results show that (1) separation of components is a safe and effective technique for repairing primary and recurrent ventral hernias in morbidly obese patients; (2) performance of a simultaneous panniculectomy or bariatric procedure does not affect the outcome; and (3) comorbidities do not compromise the results.

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