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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000 Feb;105(2):720-9; quiz 730.

Endoscopically assisted "components separation" for closure of abdominal wall defects.

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Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA.


The repair of ventral hernia defects of the abdominal wall challenges both general and plastic surgeons. Ventral herniation is a postoperative complication in 10 percent of abdominal surgeries; the repair of such defects has a recurrence rate as high as 50 percent. The "components separation" technique has successfully decreased the recurrence rates of ventral abdominal hernias. However, this technique has been associated with midline dehiscence and a prolonged postoperative stay at the authors' institutions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether endoscopically assisted components separation could minimize operative damage to the vasculature of the abdominal wall and decrease postoperative wound dehiscence. The study group consisted of seven patients who underwent endoscopically assisted components separation; the control group consisted of 30 patients who underwent open components separation. The two groups were similar regarding demographic data and defect size. The endoscopic group had a higher initial success rate than the open group (100 versus 77 percent). Recurrence rates were not significantly different between the two groups. However, the endoscopically assisted components separation patients had fewer postoperative and long-term complications. In the authors' experience, endoscopically assisted components separation has proved to be a safe and effective method for the repair of complicated and recurrent midline ventral hernias.

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