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Use of absorbable mesh as an aid in abdominal wall closure in the emergent setting.

  • Buck, J R
  • Fath, J J
  • Chung, S K
  • Sorensen, V J
  • Horst, H M
  • Obeid, F N
Published Article
The American surgeon
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1995
PMID: 7618801


A surgeon has many options available to aid in the closure of abdominal wall defects in the elective setting. In the emergent setting, active infection or contamination increases the likelihood of infection of permanent prosthetic material and limits the surgical options. In such settings, we have used absorbable mesh (Dexon) as an adjunct to fascial closure until the acute complications resolve. To evaluate the effectiveness of this technique, we reviewed the outcome of such closures in 26 critically ill patients. Between July 1987 and June 1993, 26 patients were identified who had placement of absorbable mesh as part of an emergent laparotomy at a major urban trauma center. Through a retrospective chart review, the incidence of complications and outcome of the closure were tabulated. Seven patients were initially operated on for trauma. Two of the patients had mesh placement at their initial procedure secondary to fascial loss from trauma. The remainder of the patients hd mesh placement during a subsequent laparotomy for complications related to their initial procedure. Indications for these laparotomies included combinations of wound dehiscence, intra-abdominal abscess, anastomotic disruption, and perforation. Mesh placement in patients with intra-abdominal infection created effectively open abdominal wounds that allowed continued abdominal drainage, but required extensive wound care. Despite the absorbable nature of the mesh and often prolonged hospital stay in these ill patients, none of them required reoperation for dehiscence, recurrence of intra-abdominal abscess, or infection of the mesh.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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