Repair of ventral hernias with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene patch
Operations for large and recurrent abdominal hernias have a high associated recurrence rate, although it is lower when prosthetic material is used. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) seems to be the best tolerated prosthetic material in surgery.
A series of 45 ventral hernias repaired using ePTFE for closure or reinforcement of the herniorrhaphy has been evaluated prospectively. Thirty-six were midline incisional hernias and nine were transverse or pararectal ventral hernias. There were 13 recurrent ventral hernias and three defects were operated as an emergency procedure. The patch was sutured to the anterior aponeurosis with a running non-absorbable suture. Some other kind of intra-abdominal procedure was undertaken in 12 cases.
ePTFE was well tolerated. Complications occurred in five patients. Major complications were found in three patients: cutaneous necrosis requiring a myocutaneous flap; and infection of the prosthesis (primary, and secondary to enterocutaneous fistula due to diverticulitis, both requiring removal of the patch). Mean follow-up was 39 months and hernia recurrence occurred in only one patient.
This clinical experience shows that ePTFE is a very reliable prosthetic material for the repair of abdominal wall hernias.
CITATION Br J Surg. 1998 Oct;85(10):1415-8