Abdominal wall reconstruction: Lessons learned from 200 "components separation" procedures

Jason H. Ko, Edward C. Wang, David M. Salvay, Benjamin C. Paul, Gregory A. Dumanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the efficacy and describe the evolution of the "components separation" technique for abdominal wall repair in 200 consecutive patients. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Setting: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. Patients: Two hundred consecutive patients who underwent ventral hernia repair using the components separation technique. Interventions: Biological and permanent meshes were used in select patients to augment the repair of the midline fascial closure but were not used as "bridging" materials. Main Outcome Measures: Hernia recurrence rates and major and minor complication rates for the overall series and for the different techniques. Results: Primary components separation (n=158) yielded a 22.8% recurrence rate. Closure of the midline tissues with augmentation of the repair using an acellular cadaveric dermis underlay (n=18) had a 33.3% recurrence rate requiring a second operation, whereas intra-abdominal soft polypropylene mesh (n=18) had 0% recurrence (P=.04). Elevated body mass index was a significant risk factor predicting hernia recurrence (P=.003).Contamination(P=.04) and enterocutaneous fistula (P=.02) at the time of surgery wereassociatedwithincreasedmajorcomplications,whereas body mass index (P=.01) and diabetes mellitus (P=.04) were associated with increased minor complications. Conclusions: Large complex hernias can be reliably repaired using the components separation technique despite the presence of open wounds, the need for bowel surgery, and numerous comorbidities. The long-term strength of the hernia repair is not augmented by acellular cadaveric dermis but seems to be improved with soft polypropylene mesh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1055
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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