Introduction: Laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia (PEH) is associated with a low morbidity and mortality but an objective hernia recurrence rate in excess of 50% at 5 years. Biologic mesh has not been shown to reduce hernia recurrence rates. Recently, a new bioresorbable mesh made with poly-4-hydroxybutyrate with a Sepra-Technology coating on one side (Phasix-ST mesh) has become available. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and short-term efficacy of Phasix-ST mesh for reinforcement of the primary crural closure in patients undergoing elective, laparoscopic PEH repair.
Methods: A prospective database was initiated and maintained for all patients undergoing PEH repair with the use of Phasix-ST mesh. We retrospectively reviewed the records of consecutive patients who had an elective, first-time laparoscopic PEH repair with Phasix-ST mesh and who completed their 1-year objective follow-up study. Patients having a reoperation, non-laparoscopic repair, or who failed to comply with the objective follow-up were excluded.
Results: To achieve the desired 50 patients with 1-year objective follow-up, we reviewed the records of 90 consecutive PEH patients. In the final cohort of 50 patients, there were 32 females (64%) and 18 males. The median age of the patients at surgery was 67 years (range 44-84). The operation was PEH repair with fundoplication alone in 29 patients (58%) and PEH repair with Collis gastroplasty and fundoplication in 21 patients (42%). Phasix-ST mesh was used for crural reinforcement in all patients, and there were no intraoperative issues with the mesh or any difficulty placing or fixating the mesh at the hiatus. A diaphragm relaxing incision was performed in 2 patients (4%). The mean length of hospital stay was 2.8 days, and there was no major morbidity or mortality. On the 1-year objective follow-up study (median 12 months) a recurrent hernia was found in 4 patients (8%). No patient that had a Collis gastroplasty or a relaxing incision had a recurrent hernia. No patient had a reoperation. No patient had a mesh infection or mesh erosion.
Conclusions: Phasix-ST mesh reinforcement of the crural closure during laparoscopic primary, elective PEH repair was associated with no adverse mesh-related events such as infection or erosion. Phasix-ST crural reinforcement in combination with tension-reduction techniques when necessary resulted in a very low (8%) objective hernia recurrence rate at a median follow-up of 1 year. These results demonstrate the safety of Phasix-ST mesh for use at the hiatus for crural reinforcement. This safety, along with the encouraging short-term efficacy for reducing hernia recurrence, should encourage further studies using the combination of resorbable biosynthetic mesh crural reinforcement and tension-reducing techniques during repair of paraesophageal hernias.
Keywords: Fundoplication; Hiatal hernia; Hiatus; Mesh; Paraesophageal hernia.