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World J Surg. 2007 Feb;31(2):423-9; discussion 430.

Intraperitoneal polypropylene mesh hernia repair complicates subsequent abdominal surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, 10M, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015, GD, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Prosthetic incisional hernia repair (PIHR) is superior to primary closure in preventing hernia recurrence. Serious complications have been associated with the use of prosthetic material. Complications of subsequent surgical interventions after prior PIHR in relation to its anatomical position were the objectives of this study.


Patients who underwent subsequent laparotomy/laparoscopy after PIHR between January 1992 and February 2005 at our institution were evaluated. Intraperitoneal and preperitoneal mesh was related to complication rates after subsequent surgical interventions.


Sixty-six of 335 patients underwent re-laparotomy after PIHR. The perioperative course was complicated in 76% (30/39) of procedures with intraperitoneal placed grafts compared to 29% (8/27) of interventions with preperitoneally positioned meshes (P < 0.001). Small bowel resections were necessary in 21% of the intraperitoneal group (8/39) versus 0% in the preperitoneal group. Surgical site infection rates were higher in the intraperitoneal group (10/39, 26%, versus 1/27, 4%). Enterocutaneous fistula formation was rare and occurred in two patients after subsequent laparotomy (5%).


Re-laparotomy after PIHR with polypropylene meshes are associated with more preoperative and postoperative complications when the mesh is placed intraperitoneally. Therefore 0intraperitoneal positioning of polypropylene mesh at incisional hernia repair should be avoided if possible.

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