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Niger J Clin Pract. 2010 Jun;13(2):167-72.

Challenges in the repair of large abdominal wall hernias in Nigeria: review of available options in resource limited environments.

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Department of Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Nigeria.



To evaluate the challenges and outcome of management of large abdominal wall hernias in a resource limited environment and highlight the options available to surgeons in similar conditions.


A review of prospectively collected data on large abdominal wall hernias managed between 2003 and 2009.


University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria and surrounding hospitals.


Patients with hernias more than 4 cm in their largest diameter, patients with closely sited multiple hernias or failed previous repairs and in whom the surgeon considers direct repair inappropriate.


Demographics of patients with large hernias, methods of hernia repair, recurrences, early and late complications following the repair.


There were 41 patients, comprising 28 females and 13 males with ages 14 - 73 years. Most (53.7%) were incisional hernias. Gynecological surgeries (66.7%) were the most common initiating surgeries. Fifteen of the patients (36.6%) have had failed previous repairs, 41.5% were obese, five patients presented with intestinal obstruction. Thirty nine of the hernias were repaired with prolene mesh, one with composite mesh and one by danning technique. Most of the patients had extra peritoneal mesh placement. Three patients needed ventilator support. After a mean follow up of 18.6 months, there was a single failed repair. Two post op deaths were related to respiratory distress. There were 12 wound infection and 8 superficial wound dehiscence, all of which except one resolved with dressing. One reoperation was done following mesh infection and extrusion.


Large abdominal wall hernia repair in resource limited environments present several challenges with wound infection and respiratory distress being the most notable. Surgeons who embark on it in these environments must be prepared t o secure the proper tissue replacement materials and have adequate ventilation support.

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