Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair: Postoperative Antibiotics Decrease Incidence of Seroma-Related Cellulitis

Edwards, C.; Angstadt, J.; Whipple, O.; Grau, R.
November 2005
American Surgeon;Nov/2005, Vol. 71 Issue 11, p931
Academic Journal
Seroma formation has been documented as a common complication in laparoscopic ventral herniorraphy. However, there are no recent studies documenting the incidence of or protective strategies against seroma-related cellulitis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 65 laparoscopic ventral herniorraphies and to determine if seroma-related cellulitis can be prevented by the routine use of postoperative prophylactic antibiotics. A retrospective case review of 65 laparoscopic ventral herniorraphies was done at our institution from February 2002 to January 2004. All were performed using either Gore-Tex DualMesh or Bard Composix mesh and performed under the direct supervision of a single surgeon. Twenty patients received only preoperative third-generation cephalosporins or fluoroquinolones. All other patients received either 7 days of postoperative oral cephalosporins or fluoroquinolones in addition to preoperative antibiotics. Sixty-five patients underwent laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. There were 45 patients in the postoperative antibiotic group and 20 patients in the preoperative-only antibiotic group. Twenty-one patients developed seromas. Twelve of these developed cellulitis. The rates of seroma formation were similar in the two groups with 30 per cent in the preoperative only group and 33 per cent in the postoperative antibiotic group. However, 100 per cent of the seromas in the preoperative antibiotic group developed seroma-related cellulitis. Only 40 per cent of seromas in the postoperative antibiotic group developed cellulitis. In addition, two seromas in the preoperative antibiotics-only group progressed to frank mesh infection necessitating operative removal. There were no complications related to antibiotic administration. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is a safe and effective procedure. Our seroma rate is 30 per cent and compares equally with prior reported studies. Seroma-related cellulitis is a common problem that can lead to mesh infection, postoperative morbidity, and further need for operative care. The administration of 7 days of postoperative prophylactic antibiotics appears to be a safe and effective means to limit seromarelated cellulitis.


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