Abdominal wall infections with in situ mesh

Richard D. Collage, Matthew R. Rosengart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Synthetic mesh is used commonly in the repair of abdominal wall hernias. Infection at the surgical site where mesh is present poses a formidable clinical problem. Methods: The current surgical literature was reviewed to formulate accepted approaches to the management of hernia repairs with infected mesh. Results: Prevention of mesh infection is best achieved by judicious use of systemic antibiotics. Topical antibiotics often are used without convincing evidence to support their value. Laparoscopic repairs have lower infection rates than open repairs. Evidence is lacking to support lower rates of infection with mesh of specific composition or with antibacterial agents that coat the mesh. The diagnosis of mesh infection is principally a clinical one. Repairs of infected mesh usually necessitate antibiotics and removal of the foreign material. Clinical judgment is required for attempts at salvaging portions of the mesh. Component separation or biological materials may be used in those circumstances for hernia repair in which large defects are created by removal of the infected synthetic material. Conclusions: Prevention of mesh infections remains the best strategy. Clinical judgment is essential in determining the degree of mesh removal. Continued clinical studies are necessary to improve the outcomes of established mesh infection in hernia repairs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


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