Heartsill, L., Richards, M.L., Arfai, N. et al. Hernia (2005) 9: 162. doi:10.1007/s10029-005-0319-9
Background: The Rives-Stoppa (RS) repair of ventral incisional hernias (VIHR) is technically difficult. It involves the retromuscular placement of mesh anterior to the posterior fascia and the primary closure of the anterior fascia. Recurrence rates are 0–8%. We proposed that the operation could be done with equal success by placing the mesh in an intraperitoneal position and primarily closing the fascia anterior to the mesh. Methods: 81 patients who had undergone an open RS-VIHR with intraperitoneal mesh were evaluated for hernia recurrence and factors associated with recurrence. Results: 55 women and 26 men (mean BMI 38±9) underwent RS-VIHR (mean age 49±11 years). Of these patients, 44 (54%) had a prior VIHR, 30 (37%) had an incarcerated hernia and 34 (42%) had multiple fascial defects. PTFE was used in 83% and Prolene in 12%. Average LOS was 5.8±12 days. All received perioperative intravenous antibiotics and 28% were discharged on oral antibiotics. Follow-up averaged 30±24 months. Recurrent VIH developed in 12/81 (15%), with three occurring after removal of infected mesh and one after a laparotomy. Excluding these four, the recurrence rate was 10%. There was no correlation between hernia recurrence and age, BMI, hernia size, number of prior repairs, or LOS (t-test p>0.05). Hernia recurrence did not correlate with gender, prior peritoneal contamination, incarceration, multiple defects, adhesions, mesh type, oral antibiotics, cardiac disease, diabetes, tobacco use, or seroma (X2 p>0.05). Those with a wound infection and/or abscess formation had a significantly higher recurrent hernia rate (60% vs. 8%, X2 p<0.001). Patients with pulmonary disease had a significantly higher recurrence rate (50% vs. 12%, X2 p=0.01). Conclusions: RS-VIHR with intraperitoneal mesh is a successful and less technically challenging method of repair than prior modifications. Aggressive efforts to identify infection and treat early may prevent abscess formation and subsequent recurrent hernia. Patients with chronic pulmonary disease have an unacceptably high recurrence rate and should not be considered as candidates for elective RS-VIHR.