Background: Primary closure of post-operative facial dehiscence (FD) is associated with a high incidence of recurrence, revisional surgery, and incisional hernia. This retrospective study compares outcomes of implantation of non-absorbable intra-abdominal meshes with primary closure of FD. The outcomes of different mesh materials were assessed in subgroup analysis.
Methods: A total of 119 consecutive patients with FD were operated (70 mesh group and 49 no mesh group) between 2001 and 2015. Primary outcome parameter was hernia-free survival. Secondary outcome parameters include re-operations of the abdominal wall, intestinal fistula, surgical site infections (SSI), and mortality. Kaplan-Meier analysis for hernia-free survival, adjusted Poisson regression analysis for re-operations and adjusted regression analysis for chronic SSI was performed.
Results: Hernia-free survival was significantly higher in the mesh group compared to the no mesh group (P = 0.005). Fewer re-operations were necessary in the mesh group compared to the no mesh group (adjusted incidence risk ratio 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.20-0.93, P = 0.032). No difference in SSI, intestinal fistula, and mortality was observed between groups. Chronic SSI was observed in 7 (10%) patients in the mesh group (n = 3 [6.7%] with polypropylene mesh and 4 [28.6%] with polyester mesh). The risk for chronic SSI was significantly higher if a polyester mesh was used when compared to a polypropylene mesh (adjusted odds ratio 8.69, 95% CI 1.30-58.05, P = 0.026).
Conclusion: Implantation of a polypropylene but not polyester-based mesh in patients with FD decreases incisional hernia with a low rate of mesh-related morbidity.
Keywords: Fascial dehiscence; Non-absorbable mesh; Polyester mesh; Polypropylene mesh.