Background: Despite advances in surgical technique and materials, abdominal fascial closure has remained a procedure that often reflects a surgeon's personal preference with a reliance on tradition and anecdotal experience. The value of a particular abdominal fascial closure technique may be measured by the incidence of early and late wound complications, and the best abdominal closure technique should be fast, easy, and cost-effective, while preventing both early and late complications. This study addresses the closure of the vertical midline laparotomy incision.
Data sources: A MEDLINE (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland) search was performed. All articles related to abdominal fascia closure published from 1966 to 2003 were included in the review.
Conclusions: Careful analysis of the current surgical literature, including 4 recently published meta-analyses, indicates that a consistent conclusion can be made regarding an optimal technique. That technique involves mass closure, incorporating all of the layers of the abdominal wall (except skin) as 1 structure, in a simple running technique, using #1 or #2 absorbable monofilament suture material with a suture length to wound length ratio of 4 to 1.