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Preliminary experience with new bioactive prosthetic material for repair of hernias in infected fields

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Surgisis (Cook Surgical, Bloomington, Ind., USA) is a new four-ply bioactive, prosthetic mesh for hernia repair derived from porcine small-intestinal submucosa. It is a naturally occurring extracellular matrix which is easily absorbed, supports early and abundant new vessel growth, and serves as a template for the constructive remodeling of many tissues. As such, we believe that Surgisis mesh is ideal for use in contaminated or potentially contaminated fields in which ventral, incisional, or inguinal hernia repairs are required. From November 2000 through May 2002, 25 patients (11 male, 14 female) underwent placement of Surgisis mesh for a variety of different hernia repairs. A total of 25 hernia repairs were performed in our patient population. Fourteen procedures (56%) were performed in a potentially contaminated setting (i.e. with incarcerated/strangulated bowel within the hernia or coincident with a laparoscopic cholecystectomy/colectomy). Eleven repairs (44%) were performed in a grossly contaminated field, including one in which an infected polypropylene mesh from a previous inguinal hernia repair was replaced with Surgisis and one in which necrotic bowel was discovered within the hernial sac. Median follow-up was 15 months with a range of 1–20 months. Of the 25 total repairs, there was one wound infection complicated by enterocutaneous fistula in a patient originally operated on for ischemic bowel. The fistula was in a location independent of the Surgisis mesh. There were no mesh-related complications or recurrent hernias in our early postoperative follow-up period. Surgisis mesh appears to be a promising new prosthetic material for hernia repair, especially in contaminated or potentially contaminated fields. Obviously, long-term follow-up is still required.

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Franklin, M., Gonzalez, J., Michaelson, R. et al. Preliminary experience with new bioactive prosthetic material for repair of hernias in infected fields. Hernia 6, 171–174 (2002).

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