Abdominal hernia repair with bridging acellular dermal matrix-an expensive hernia sac

Jeffrey Blatnik, Judy Jin, Michael Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Background: The ability of biologic mesh to remodel into native fascia and prevent hernia recurrence in complicated repairs is appealing. However, few long-term data exist evaluating these products in the setting of bridging fascial defects. These collagen-based mesh products are costly, and long-term evaluation of hernia recurrence rates are necessary to justify their expense. Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients undergoing repair of complex abdominal defects with acellular dermal matrix (ADM) at our institution was performed. Results: Between January 2004 and December 2005, 11 patients underwent complex ventral hernia repairs with bridging ADM. Indications for repair included resection of enterocutaneous fistula, infected mesh, and/or ventral hernia repair. A mean of 175 cm2 (range 8 to 456) of ADM were used. Mean follow-up was 24 months (range 18 to 37). One patient died on postoperative day 20. Eight of the 10 (80%) remaining patients had recurrences, and 7 underwent further surgery for repair. One patient reported laxity but refused repair. The total cost of ADM alone for these 11 patients was $61,926; the cost for the 8 patients having recurrences was $40,776; and the total mean cost was $5,100/patient. Conclusions: Although bridging fascial defects with ADM can be an appealing substitute in extremely complicated cases, our data demonstrate exceedingly high recurrence rates. The long-term outcome of bridging fascial defects with biologic prosthesis does not justify the expense of the product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Acellular dermal matrix
  • Alloderm
  • Complicated abdominal hernia
  • Infection
  • Recurrence


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