Background: Incisional hernia (IH) remains one of the most frequent postoperative complications after abdominal surgery. As a consequence, primary mesh augmentation (PMA), a technique to strengthen the abdominal wall, has been gaining popularity. This meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the prophylactic effect of PMA on the incidence of IH compared to primary suture (PS). Methods: A meta-analysis was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing PMA and PS for closing the abdominal wall after surgery were included. Results: Out of 576 papers, 5 RCTs were selected comprising 346 patients. IH occurred significantly less in the PMA group (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.12-0.52, I20%; p < 0.001). No difference could be observed with regard to wound infection (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.39-1.91, I2 0%; p = 0.71) or seroma (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.64-2.33, I2 0%; p = 0.55). A trend was observed for chronic pain in favor of the PS group (RR 5.95, 95% CI 0.74-48.03, I20%; p = 0.09). Conclusion: The use of PMA for abdominal wall closure is associated with significantly lower incidence of IH compared to PS.

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Digestive Surgery
Department of Surgery

Timmermans, L, de Goede, B, Eker, H.H, van Kempen, B.J.H, Jeekel, J, & Lange, J.F. (2014). Meta-analysis of primary mesh augmentation as prophylactic measure to prevent incisional hernia. Digestive Surgery (Vol. 30, pp. 401–409). doi:10.1159/000355956