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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of the American College of Surgeons Volume 212, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 119-123. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2010.08.021. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.



Background Definitive repair of recurrent ventral hernias using abdominal wall reconstruction techniques is an essential tool in the armentarium for general and plastic surgeons. Ramirez 1 et al describes the “component separation” technique to mobilize the rectus-abdominus internal oblique and external oblique flap to correct the defect. The recurrence rate of incisional hernias increases to 20% after gastric bypass or extensive weight loss.2 The incidence of ventral hernias after failed recurrent hernia repair increases to 40%.3 It has been reported that utilizing the sliding myofascial flap repair technique, the recurrence rate was reduced to 8.5%.4

Materials and Methods This retrospective institutional study reviews 10 years of myofascial flap reconstruction 1996-2006 at TJUH. Several techniques and prosthetic materials (alloderm, permacol, vicryl, composix) were used in our institutional review by multiple surgeons in this time period. Our goal is to identify risk factors (i.e. smoking, diabetes, obesity, size of defect, peripheral vascular disease, enterocutaneous fistula, infection) that predict or categorize patients that are at increased risk for failure of primary repair, measure the complication rates (i.e. infection, recurrence, seroma, hematoma) and evaluate the techniques and long term effectiveness of several prosthetic materials.

Results Three thousand twenty ventral hernia repairs were performed at TJUH between 1996 and 2006. Two thousand three hundred eighty three approximated the rectus abdominus primarily and of these 645 utilized a component separation technique. The recurrence rate for component separations was 18.5% and 83% for primary repairs. The average follow up was 5.49 years. Statistically significant risk factors (p<0.05) for recurrence were obesity (BMI>30 kg/m2), age>65 years, male gender, preoperative infection and postoperative seroma.

Conclusion Myofascial flaps are a safe, reliable therapy for recurrent ventral hernias that addresses the population of patients that have failed conventional primary closure and reduce the recurrence rates greater than 40 percent to 18.5 percent in the carefully selected patient population.

Moore Figs 1 2.doc (12429 kB)
Figures 1 and 2.

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