Efficacy of a synthetic mesh sling in keeping the small bowel in the upper abdomen to prevent radiation enteropathy in gynecologic malignancies

Y M van Kasteren, C W Burger, O W Meijer, T J Helmerhorst, P Kenemans

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Radiation therapy in gynecological malignancies is limited by the frequent occurrence of radiation enteropathy at effective dose levels of 45 Gy and higher. Elevation of the small bowel out of the true pelvis should enable doses of up to 60-70 Gy to be given without damaging the small bowel. We report a feasibility study concerning elevation of the small bowel out of the true pelvis, by creating an intra-abdominal sling with a synthetic mesh. Twelve patients with pelvic gynecological malignancies were included since 1986. In all patients peroperative application of the mesh was possible. In ten patients adequate elevation of the small bowel was achieved. Two patients showed a right-sided herniation of a small bowel loop on a control barium opacification, performed 1 week postoperatively. In one of these a fistula occurred after resecuring the mesh. The most important problem in this study, as has also been reported elsewhere, was a herniation of a small bowel loop. The incidence is probably inversely correlated with the skill of the surgeon and will therefore be reduced with increasing experience. Future long-term studies should address the issue whether or not radiation enteropathy can be prevented by this method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993


  • Abdomen/surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female/radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiation Injuries/etiology
  • Radiotherapy/adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Mesh

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