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Surgery. 2006 Jul;140(1):14-24.

Mesh incisional herniorrhaphy increases abdominal wall elastic properties: a mechanism for decreased hernia recurrences in comparison with suture repair.

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Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



An improved understanding of load-bearing soft tissue repair suggests that the mechanism for the improved outcomes after alloplastic incisional herniorrhaphy involves more than simple tissue replacement or material strength. We test the hypothesis that postrepair abdominal wall elastic properties are most predictive of successful abdominal wall reconstruction.


A rodent model of chronic incisional hernia formation was used. Midline incisional hernias were repaired primarily with suture (n = 24) or polypropylene mesh (n = 24). Rodents were sacrificed at serial postoperative time points over 60 days. Intact abdominal wall strips were cut perpendicular to the wound for tensiometric analysis. Biopsies of wound provisional matrix were obtained for biochemical analysis.


Recurrent incisional hernia formation was significantly decreased in the mesh-repair group, compared with the suture-repair group (5/24 vs 14/24, P = .02). Mesh-repaired abdominal walls demonstrated significantly more elongation (P < .01) and less stiffness (P < .01). Toughness was equal between wounds, although the suture-repaired wounds had increased recovery of tensile strength (P < .01). There were no significant differences in collagen deposition after postoperative day 7.


Mesh incisional herniorrhaphy increases abdominal wall elastic properties as measured by increased elongation and reduced stiffness. Increased abdominal wall elasticity after incisional hernia repair in turn results in lower recurrence rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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