Evaluation of acellular human dermis reinforcement of the crural closure in patients with difficult hiatal hernias

E. Lee, M. M. Frisella, B. D. Matthews, L. M. Brunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Biologic prosthetics may circumvent mesh-related complications at the esophageal hiatus by becoming remodeled by native cells. We present our experience with acellular human dermal matrix in the repair of difficult hiatal hernias (HH). Methods: Records of 17 patients who underwent laparoscopic HH repair using acellular human dermis to buttress the crural closure were analyzed. Hernias were paraesophageal (PEH) in 12 patients, large type 1 in 1 patient, and recurrent after prior HH repair in 4 patients. Barium swallow (BAS) was obtained 6-12 months after surgery. (Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation.) Results: Mean patient age was 65 ± 12 years and BMI was 31 ± 4. Mean gastroesophageal (GE) junction distance above the diaphragm in the PEHs was 4.9 ± 1.5 cm; 9 of 12 patients with PEH had more than 50% of the stomach in the chest. Mean operating time was 273 ± 48 min. Average hiatal defect size was 4.7 × 2.7 cm, with 4.2 ± 1.2 sutures used to close the crura. Nissen fundoplication was performed in all patients, esophageal lengthening in four patients, and anterior gastropexy in three patients. Mean hospital length of stay (LOS) was 2.3 ± 0.8 days. Mean followup was 14.4 ± 4.4 months. Postoperatively, only one (6%) patient had heartburn/regurgitation, one (6%) had mild dysphagia, and two (12%) take proton pump inhibitors. Followup BAS at 10.3 ± 4.9 months after surgery showed small recurrent hernias in two patients (12%), but only one was symptomatic. In addition, there was one symptomatic failure of a redo Nissen in an obese patient. Reoperative gastric bypass 15 months later showed an intact crural closure with a remodeled buttress site. Conclusions: Acellular human dermal matrix may be an effective method to buttress the crural closure in patients with large hiatal hernias. Longer followup in larger numbers of patients is needed to assess the validity of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-645
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • GORD / GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Laparoscopy


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