Multilayer reconstruction of abdominal wall defects with acellular dermal allograft (AlloDerm) and component separation

Ann Plast Surg. 2005 Jul;55(1):36-41; discussion 41-2. doi: 10.1097/


Multiple techniques have been employed for the repair of abdominal incisional hernias with varying rates of success. Primary fascial apposition and prosthetic implantation have been associated with high rates of secondary recurrence, infection, and other complications, often due to insufficient alleviation of tension and implant intolerance. This study evaluates the repair of incisional and recurrent abdominal hernias with multilayered acellular dermal allograft (AlloDerm; LifeCell Corporation, Branchburg, NJ) and musculofascial separation. Patients with incisional or recurrent abdominal hernias were treated between January 2003 and March 2004. The surgical technique involved musculofascial release of the external oblique, followed by a double-layer implantation of dermal allograft. The primary allograft layer was placed as an "underlay" interposition, sutured under moderate tension beneath the fascial edges of the defect. When minimal tension remained, the native fascial margins of the defect were directly repaired. A second allograft layer was then placed and sutured to the superficial aspect of the ventral fascia to complete the repair. Data were reviewed retrospectively. Sixteen patients were treated. There were 10 males and 6 females, mean age 56 years (range 44--72 years). Fifteen patients (94%) had previous hernia repair procedures, and 6 patients (38%) had undergone 2 or more previous procedures. Nine patients (56%) were treated with hernia site infections or prosthetic exposure. Mean follow-up is 16 months (range 9 to 23 months). There were 2 seromas (13%). One patient (6%) developed a wound dehiscence with allograft exposure that healed by secondary intention. There were no recurrences. By minimizing tension and providing a durable biocompatible matrix for support, component separation with bilaminar acellular dermal allograft should be considered for the repair of complex and recurrent ventral hernias.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use
  • Collagen / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hernia, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence
  • Skin, Artificial
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Alloderm
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Collagen