Mesh Graft Infection Following Abdominal Hernia Repair: Risk Factor Evaluation and Strategies of Mesh Graft Preservation. A Retrospective Analysis of 476 Operations

Stremitzer, Stefan; Bachleitner-Hofmann, Thomas; Gradl, Bernhard; Gruenbeck, Matthias; Bachleitner-Hofmann, Barbara; Mittlboeck, Martina; Bergmann, Michael
July 2010
World Journal of Surgery;Jul2010, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p1702
Academic Journal
Mesh graft infection after prosthetic hernia repair is a challenging complication usually treated by mesh removal. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with mesh infection and to assess the efficacy of conservative wound therapy in preserving an infected mesh. We performed a retrospective analysis of 476 consecutive patients with incisional hernia who received mesh graft repair between February 1, 2000 and February 28, 2005 at our institution using chart review and clinical investigation. Thirty-one of 476 (6.5%) patients developed a deep surgical site infection involving the implanted mesh graft. Upon multivariate analysis, operation time was the only significant risk factor associated with mesh infection ( p = 0.0038). Seventeen (55%) of 31 infected mesh grafts were preserved by conservative means. There was a significant association between the type of mesh graft used and the probability of mesh preservation in case of infection: While conservative therapy led to preservation of 100% of infected polyglactin/polypropylene meshes, only 20% of infected polypropylene and 23% of infected PTFE/polypropylene meshes could be salvaged using conservative means ( p < 0.0001). In none of the patients with preserved mesh graft was hernia recurrence at the former site of infection observed. Operation time is the only significant risk factor associated with mesh graft infection following incisional hernia repair. Conservative treatment should be applied in case of infection of absorbable mesh grafts such as polypropylene/polyglactin, while nonabsorbable meshes such as PTFE/polypropylene or pure polypropylene are much less amenable to conservative treatment, usually requiring early surgical removal.


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