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Mesh herniorrhaphy during elective colorectal surgery

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The management of large ventral hernias in patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery is controversial considering the reluctance to use a mesh during a clean-contaminated case. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients having undergone at our institution any colorectal surgery along with ventral hernia repair with mesh as identified by the ICD-9 codes between 1997 and 2003. Three patients underwent incisional mesh herniorrhaphy along with elective colorectal surgery, including a right hemicolectomy, a colostomy closure, and a diverting colostomy. Hernia size varied between 330 and 1,243 cm2. All hernias were repaired using polypropylene mesh in an onlay fashion. Average operative time was 199 min. Two patients developed postoperative wound infection, one of them requiring incision and drainage of a part of the wound. One patient developed skin necrosis of the lower aspect of his incision requiring skin excision and open wound. All open wounds granulated well and healed by secondary intention despite presence of exposed mesh. Therefore prosthetic ventral hernia repair using polypropylene mesh can be performed concomitant to elective colorectal operations, thus avoiding another laparotomy. The incidence of wound complications is, however, high but does not usually require mesh excision.

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The authors acknowledge Timothy Flowers, MS, for his help in part of the data collection.

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Correspondence to J. R. Salameh.

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Stringer, R.A., Salameh, J.R. Mesh herniorrhaphy during elective colorectal surgery. Hernia 9, 26–28 (2005).

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