Primary fascial closure with mesh reinforcement is superior to bridged mesh repair for abdominal wall reconstruction

Justin H. Booth, Patrick B. Garvey, Donald P. Baumann, Jesse C. Selber, Alexander T. Nguyen, Mark W. Clemens, Jun Liu, Charles E. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Background Many surgeons believe that primary fascial closure with mesh reinforcement should be the goal of abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR), yet others have reported acceptable outcomes when mesh is used to bridge the fascial edges. It has not been clearly shown how the outcomes for these techniques differ. We hypothesized that bridged repairs result in higher hernia recurrence rates than mesh-reinforced repairs that achieve fascial coaptation. Study Design We retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data from consecutive patients with 1 year or more of follow-up, who underwent midline AWR between 2000 and 2011 at a single center. We compared surgical outcomes between patients with bridged and mesh-reinforced fascial repairs. The primary outcomes measure was hernia recurrence. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors predictive of or protective for complications. Results We included 222 patients (195 mesh-reinforced and 27 bridged repairs) with a mean follow-up of 31.1 ± 14.2 months. The bridged repairs were associated with a significantly higher risk of hernia recurrence (56% vs 8%; hazard ratio [HR] 9.5; p < 0.001) and a higher overall complication rate (74% vs 32%; odds ratio [OR] 3.9; p < 0.001). The interval to recurrence was more than 9 times shorter in the bridged group (HR 9.5; p < 0.001). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis identified bridged repair and defect width > 15 cm to be independent predictors of hernia recurrence (HR 7.3; p < 0.001 and HR 2.5; p = 0.028, respectively). Conclusions Mesh-reinforced AWRs with primary fascial coaptation resulted in fewer hernia recurrences and fewer overall complications than bridged repairs. Surgeons should make every effort to achieve primary fascial coaptation to reduce complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1009
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • abdominal wall reconstruction
  • AWR
  • BADM
  • BMI
  • body mass index
  • bovine acellular dermal matrix
  • component separation
  • CS
  • HADM
  • hazard ratio
  • HR
  • human acellular dermal matrix
  • PADM
  • porcine acellular dermal matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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