Surgical treatment of abdominal wall neuromas

Ava G. Chappell, Christopher S. Yang, Gregory A. Dumanian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Neuromas are an under-recognized contributor to chronic abdominal pain. Other than after mesh inguinal hernia repair, surgical management of painful abdominal wall neuromas has not been well established in the literature. Methods: All patients who underwent surgical treatment for painful abdominal wall neuromas by the senior author at Northwestern Memorial Hospital were reviewed. Patients were treated with neuroma excision and allograft nerve reconstruction and/or with targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR). Follow-up pain surveys were issued to assess pain levels, activities of daily living, and pain medication usage. Results: Twenty patients met inclusion criteria. Eighteen (90%) patients reported improvement in neuropathic pain postoperatively. Two (10%) patients had TMR following failed nerve allograft reconstruction, which led to complete pain resolution. Twenty-seven nerves were treated surgically, the majority of which were abdominal intercostal (13), followed by ilioinguinal (10), genitofemoral (3), and iliohypogastric (1). Nerve allograft reconstruction was used alone for 18 procedures, in combination with TMR for 2, and TMR was used alone in 8. In all cases of TMR, the freshened nerve ending after neuroma excision was coapted to a motor nerve of the internal oblique. The mean length of follow-up was 18.9 months (SD ±14.5). Conclusions: This retrospective review demonstrated that 90% (18) of the patients had significant improvement in abdominal neuroma pain postoperatively. These results may help guide providers toward effective management of abdominal wall neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3585
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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