Author(s): Cobb WS, Kercher KW, Heniford BT
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Abstract The development of polypropylene prosthetics revolutionized surgery for the repair of abdominal wall hernias. A tension-free mesh technique has drastically reduced recurrence rates for all hernias compared to tissue repairs and has made it possible to reconstruct large ventral defects that were previously irreparable. The repair of abdominal wall defects is one of the most commonly performed general surgical procedures, with over 1 million polypropylene implants inserted each year. Surprisingly, little research has been performed to investigate the interaction of abdominal wall forces on a ventral hernia repair or the required amount or strength of the foreign-body material necessary for an adequate hernia repair. The long-term consequences of implantable polypropylene prosthetics are not without concern. The body generates an intense inflammatory response to the prosthetic that results in scar plate formation, increased stiffness of the abdominal wall, and shrinkage of the biomaterial. Reducing the density of polypropylene and creating a ''light weight'' mesh theoretically induces less foreign-body response, results in improved abdominal wall compliance, causes less contraction or shrinkage of the mesh, and allows for better tissue incorporation. A review of the laboratory data and short-term clinical follow-up is reviewed to provide a strong basis or argument for the use of ''light weight'' prosthetics in hernia surgery.
This article was published in Surg Innov
and referenced in Journal of Medical Implants & Surgery