Laparoscopic component separation in the single-stage treatment of infected abdominal wall prosthetic removal

Michael J. Rosen*, J. Jin, M. F. McGee, C. Williams, J. Marks, J. L. Ponsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Background: The ideal surgical treatment for complicated ventral hernias remains elusive. Traditional component separation provides local advancement of native tissue for tension-free closure without prosthetic materials. This technique requires an extensive subcutaneous dissection, with the division of perforating vessels predisposing to skin flap necrosis and complicated wound infections. The laparoscopic separation of components provides a minimally invasive alternative to open techniques, while eliminating the potential space and subsequent complications of large skin flaps. We report our initial experience with a minimally invasive component separation with early postoperative outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent a minimally invasive component separation for abdominal wall reconstruction during the resection of an infected prosthetic. Pertinent details included baseline demographics, reason for contamination, operative technique and details, postoperative morbidity, mortality, and recurrence rates. Results: Between August 2006 and January 2007, seven patients were identified who underwent a laparoscopic component separation. There were four males and three females, with a mean age of 54 years (range 34-84), mean American Society of Anesthesiologist (ASA) score of 3.2 (range 3-4), and mean body mass index (BMI) of 37 kg/m2 (range 30-45). The reason for contamination included exposed non-healing mesh (6) and contaminated fluid collection around the mesh (1). Residual defect size following the removal of all prosthetics was 338 cm2 (range 187-450). The mean operative time was 185 min (range 155-220). Laparoscopic component separation enabled tension-free primary fascial reapproximation in all patients. Three postoperative complications occurred, including superficial surgical site infection (1), respiratory failure (1), and hematoma (1). There was no mortality in this series. During an average follow-up period of 4.5 months, no recurrences were identified. Conclusions: This study shows that a minimally invasive component separation is feasible and can result in minimal postoperative wound morbidity in these complex patients. Long-term follow-up is necessary to evaluate the outcomes with respect to recurrence rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Component separation
  • Contamination
  • Laparoscopic
  • Minimally invasive
  • Ventral hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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