Outcomes after muscle flap vs prosthetic patch repair for large congenital diaphragmatic hernias

J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Jan;45(1):151-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2009.10.024.


Background: Repair of large congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) defects still pose a significant challenge, as the defects cannot be repaired primarily. Two techniques have been widely used: autologous anterior abdominal wall muscle flap and prosthetic patch. The latter has been used more often. Our goal was to compare the short-term and long-term outcomes of these 2 approaches.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of all neonates undergoing CDH repair at our institution from 1969 to 2006.

Results: Of 188 children undergoing surgery for CDH, primary repair could not be accomplished in 51 infants (27%). Nineteen had muscle flap repair, and 32 had prosthetic patch repair (Gore-Tex [W.L. Gore and Associates, Flagstaff, AZ], n = 15; Marlex [Bard Inc, Cranston, NJ], n = 9; Surgisis [Cook, Bloomington, IN], n = 5; SILASTIC [Dow Corning, Midland, MI], n = 3). There was no significant difference in gestational age or birth weight between groups. Three patients developed an abdominal wall defect at the muscle flap donor site, but none required surgical intervention. Chest wall deformities were found in 9 patients, 3 after a muscle flap and 6 after a prosthetic patch (P = .7). Postoperative bowel obstruction occurred in 3 muscle flap patients and 1 patch patient (P = .2). There were 10 recurrences among survivors: 2 after a muscle flap and 8 after a prosthetic patch (P = .3) There were 2 deaths among the muscle flap patients (10%), and 3 deaths among the prosthetic patch repair patients (9%) (P = .1). Results were confirmed after controlling for age and comorbidities between both groups in a multivariate logistic regression.

Conclusion: These results suggest that autologous anterior abdominal wall muscle flap and prosthetic patch repairs provide similar short-term and long-term outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / transplantation
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography


  • Polytetrafluoroethylene