Background: Polypropylene mesh for abdominal wall reconstruction increases the risk of postoperative complications in previously irradiated patients or patients with contaminated operative fields. A novel alternative, acellular dermal matrix, easily incorporates into native tissue when used for fascial reconstruction, forming a strong repair with minimal adhesions and lower infection rates.
Case: We describe a patient previously treated with radiation for cervical cancer who presented with a contaminated operative field due to enteral spillage and pelvic infection. Acellular dermal matrix was used as part of a stepwise secondary closure of a large fascial defect in the anterior abdominal wall that was the result of repeated surgical procedures.
Conclusion: Use of acellular dermal matrix rather than traditional polypropylene mesh should be considered for patients with contaminated or irradiated operative fields.