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Can J Surg. 2019 Dec 1;62(6):426-435. doi: 10.1503/cjs.019018.

Do North American colorectal surgeons use mesh to prevent parastomal hernia? A survey of current attitudes and practice

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From the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. (Holland, Chesney, Dossa, Acuna, Fleshner, Baxter); the Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ont. (Dossa, Acuna, Baxter); and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. (Dossa, Acuna, Baxter).


in English, French


The use of prophylactic mesh in end colostomy procedures has been shown to reduce the rate of parastomal hernia. However, the degree to which the practice has been adopted clinically remains unknown. We conducted a study to evaluate the current opinions and practice patterns of Canadian and US colorectal surgeons with regard to the use of prophylactic mesh in end colostomy.


Between May and July 2017, we conducted an internet-based survey of colorectal surgeons in Canada and the United States (selected at random). Using a questionnaire designed and tested for this study, we assessed the rate of mesh use, types of mesh and placement techniques, and perceived barriers and facilitators associated with the practice.


Forty-eight (51.6%) of 93 invited Canadian surgeons and 253 (16.6%) of 1521 invited US surgeons responded (overall response rate 18.6%). Of the 301 respondents, 32 (10.6%) were currently using mesh, 32 (10.6%) had previously used mesh, and 237 (78.7%) had never used mesh. Of 29 respondents currently using mesh, 12 (41.4%) used it only in selected patients; the majority used a sublay technique (20 [69.0%]) and biologic mesh (17 [58.6%]). Most respondents agreed that parastomal hernias are common and negatively affect quality of life; however, there remained concerns about evidence quality and the perceived risk associated with mesh among those who had never or had previously used mesh.


Prophylactic mesh placement remains relatively uncommon; when used, biologic mesh was the most common type. Many surgeons were not convinced of the safety or efficacy of prophylactic mesh placement.

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