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J Am Coll Surg. 2000 Oct;191(4):366-72.

Elective colonic operation and prosthetic repair of incisional hernia: does contamination contraindicate abdominal wall prosthesis use?

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Department of Surgery, Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.



Wound infection and sepsis leading to incisional hernia development are common after emergency colonic operations. Later on, while being operated on to correct an incisional hernia, most of these patients will need colonic resection or bowel continuity reestablishment. Simultaneous treatment of incisional hernias in patients with colostomy or colonic disease remains a difficult challenge, considering the reluctance of most surgeons to treat both conditions at the same time, especially when prosthetic repair is needed.


The aim of this study was to analyze the short-term results of patients undergoing colonic resection or bowel continuity reestablishment and simultaneous incisional hernia repair with an onlay polypropylene mesh technique. Over a period of 6 years, 20 patients were operated on for colonic problems associated with incisional hernias, including 8 Hartmanns' colostomies, 6 colostomies or ileostomies with colonic mucous fistulas, 3 postoperative colocutaneous fistulas, a paracolostomic hernia, a Chagas' megacolon, and a pseudotumoral diverticulitis. A "rule of three" statistical analysis was used to estimate the maximum risk of adverse effects, concerning mesh-related morbidity, after 1- and 2-year followup.


A major complication occurred in a patient who developed an anastomotic leakage and secondary wound infection; the patient was treated with parenteral nutrition and antibiotics. Other complications included a minor wound infection, a seroma, and a chronic sinus. One patient died from postoperative problems unrelated to the surgical technique. The occurrence of postoperative wound infection did not prevent mesh incorporation. Followup ranging from 1 to 7 years detected no hernia recurrences; 13 patients were followed for 2 years or more. Our results suggest that risk of mesh-related morbidity does not exceed 15.8% (3 of 19) within the first year and 23.1% (3 of 13) for 2 years followup, with 95% confidence.


We concluded that prosthetic repair of incisional hernias associated with simultaneous colonic operations was possible, allowing abdominal wall anatomy reestablishment. There is no reason to believe that abdominal wall prostheses must be avoided in contaminated operations when an adequate surgical technique is used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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