Outcomes of mid-term and long-term degradable biosynthetic meshes in single-stage open complex abdominal wall reconstruction

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Objective: To assess clinical outcomes in patients that underwent open single-stage complex abdominal wall reconstruction (CAWR) with biosynthetic mesh. Methods: Retrospective observational study of two prospectively registered series of consecutive patients undergoing CAWR with either long-term degradable (LTD) Phasix™ or mid-term degradable (MTD) BIO-A® biosynthetic mesh in a single institution between June 2016 and December 2019. Results: From 169 patients with CAWR, 70 consecutive patients were identified who underwent CAWR with either LTD or MTD biosynthetic mesh. More than 85% of patients had an incisional hernia that could be classified as moderately complex to major complex due to a previous wound infection (67%), one or more complicating comorbidities (87.1%), one or more complicating hernia characteristics (75.7%) or contaminated or dirty defects (37.1%). Concomitant component separation was performed in 43 of 70 patients (61.4%). Overall surgical site infection (SSI) rate in these CAWR patients was 45.7%. Seventeen of 70 patients (24.3%) had computed tomography (CT) - and culture-confirmed SSI in direct contact of mesh, suspicious of mesh infection. Mesh removal for persistent local infection occurred in 10% (7 of 70) after a median of 229 days since surgery. Salvage rate of mesh after direct contact with infection was 58.8%. All removed meshes were in the LTD group. Seven patients (10%) had a recurrence; four patients in the LTD group (10%) had a recurrence at a median follow-up of 35 months and three patients in the MTD group (10%) at a median follow-up of 11 months. Three of the seven recurrences occurred in patients with SSI in persistent and direct contact with mesh. Conclusions: Comorbid patients undergoing open complex abdominal wall reconstruction are at high risk of postoperative wound complications regardless of which type of biosynthetic mesh is used. When in persistent and direct contact with infection, long-term biodegradable biosynthetic meshes may need to be removed, whereas mid-term biodegradable biosynthetic meshes can be salvaged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1657
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Bio-A
  • Biosynthetic mesh
  • CAWR
  • Phasix
  • long-term degradable
  • mid-term degradable

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