Background Our objective was to determine outcomes for complex ventral hernia repairs in a large cohort of patients utilizing an operative construct employing retrorectus placement of a narrow, macroporous polypropylene mesh with up to 45 suture fixation points for force distribution. No consensus exists on the optimal technique for repair of complex ventral hernias. Current trends emphasize large meshes with wide overlaps and minimal suture fixation, though reported complications and recurrence remain problematic. Methods A retrospective review was performed for all patients undergoing ventral hernia repair with retrorectus placement of midweight, uncoated, soft polypropylene mesh by a single surgeon (GAD) between the years of 2010 and 2015. Patient characteristics, operative history, operative data, and postoperative course were reviewed. Results A total of 101 patients with a mean age of 56 years and a mean body mass index of 29 m/kg2 (range 18–51 m/kg2) underwent hernia repair. Patients had a median of 3 prior abdominal operations (range 0–9), with 44 patients presenting with recurrent hernias. A total of 42 patients were Ventral Hernia Working Group grade 1, 40 grade 2, 17 grade 3, and 2 grade 4. There were no recurrences at a mean follow-up of almost 400 days for the 93 patients with long-term follow-up. The surgical site occurrence rate was 7.9% (3 surgical site infections, 2 seromas, 2 hematomas, and 4 instances of delayed wound healing in 8 patients). One patient required reoperation for hematoma drainage; 5 patients required readmission within 30 days. Conclusion An operative construct employing a retrorectus placement of a narrow, macroporous polypropylene mesh with up to 45 suture fixation points for force distribution can achieve significantly better outcomes across a spectrum of Ventral Hernia Working Group grade, risk-stratified patients compared to rates reported in the literature for current strategies that employ wide meshes with minimal fixation.
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