Background: Bridging of the hernia defect in laparoscopic repair (sIPOM) technique does not fully restore the abdominal wall function. Closure of hernia defect in IPOM-plus technique leads to the restoration of abdominal wall function and improved long-term treatment outcomes. Against the expectations, the studies confirm the formation of intraabdominal adhesions to the mesh. Regardless of the above, the search of the proper technique for mesh implantation and fixation is still ongoing. There have also been attempts to identify groups of patients who may still benefit from IPOM procedure.
Materials and methods: Patients with midline abdominal wall hernias up to 10 cm wide were enrolled in the study except for subxiphoid and suprapubic hernias. Between 2011 and 2014 we performed 82 hernia repairs using the laparoscopic technique with Physiomesh. Patients were divided into sIPOM and IPOM-plus groups. The study included 44M and 38F patients aged 27-84 years. After 12-months and again in August 2015 a survey was posted to all patients with questions regarding potential recurrence.
Results: After 12 months, eight patients (20 %) in sIPOM group reported subjectively perceived recurrence and none in IPOM-plus group (p = 0.002). Six patients (14.3 %) in sIPOM group reported suspected recurrence, as compared to three patients (7.1 %) in IPOM-plus group (p = 0.13). These patients were invited for a follow-up physical examination and sonography. Eventually, four cases of hernia recurrence were confirmed in sIPOM group (10 %) and none in IPOM-plus group (p = 0.018). Other patients presented with mesh bulging.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is generally safe and is associated with the low recurrence rate. Closure of fascial defects before mesh insertion offers better treatment outcomes. Non-closure of fascial defects with only bridging of the hernia defect (sIPOM) causes more frequent recurrence and bulging. As a result, patient satisfaction with treatment is lower, and they are concerned about hernia recurrence.
Keywords: Bridging; Hernia repair; IPOM; Mesh; Physiomesh; Suturing.