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Surg Endosc. 2008 Sep;22(9):1941-6. doi: 10.1007/s00464-008-0005-y. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

The use of porcine small intestinal submucosa as a prosthetic material for laparoscopic hernia repair in infected and potentially contaminated fields: long-term follow-up.

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Texas Endosurgery Institute, 4242 East Southcross Boulevard, Suite 1, San Antonio, TX 78222, USA.



The treatment of hernias remains controversial, with multiple prosthetic meshes being exalted for a variety of their characteristics. In the event of incarcerated/strangulated hernias and other potentially contaminated fields the placement of prosthetic material remains controversial because of increased risk of recurrence and infection. Porcine small intestinal submucosa mesh (Surgisis, Cook Bloomington, IN) has been demonstrated safe and feasible in laparoscopic hernia repairs in this scenario. We present our 5-year experience, with placement of Surgisis mesh in potentially or grossly contaminated fields.


From May 2000 to October 2006, 116 patients (52 male, 64 female) with 133 procedures were performed. Placement of Surgisis mesh for either incisional, umbilical, inguinal, femoral or parastomal hernia repairs in an infected or potentially contaminated setting were achieved, and studied in a prospective fashion.


All procedures were laparoscopically with two techniques [intraperitoneal onlay mesh (IPOM) and two-layered "sandwich" repair]. Mean follow-up was 52 +/- 20.9 months. Thirty-nine cases were in an infected field and the rest in a potentially contaminated field. Ninety-one procedures were performed concurrently with a contaminated procedure. Twenty-five presented as intestinal obstruction, 16 strangulated hernias, and 17 required small bowel resection; 29 were inguinal hernias, 57 incisional, and 38 umbilical. In 13 patients more than two different hernias were repaired. Eighty-five percent 5-year follow-up was achieved, during which we identified 7 recurrences, 11 seromas (all resolved), and 10 patients reporting mild pain. Six second looks were performed and in all cases except one the mesh was found to be totally integrated into the tissue with strong scar tissue corroborated macro- and microscopically.


In our experience the use of small intestine submucosa mesh in contaminated or potentially contaminated fields is a safe and feasible alternative to hernia repair with minimal recurrence rate and satisfactory results in long-term follow-up.

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