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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 42-49

Optimal management of mesh infection: Evidence and treatment options

1 Department of Surgery, Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA
2 Department of General Surgery, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vedra A Augenstein
Carolinas Medical Center, 1025 Morehead Medical Dr., Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28204
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijawhs.ijawhs_16_18

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Mesh reinforcement is generally considered the standard of care in ventral hernia repair. Infection is a common complication following ventral hernia repair. Infection extending to the mesh is a complex problem. Knowledge of current treatment strategies is necessary for surgeons performing abdominal wall reconstruction. A comprehensive literature review was performed of current literature to assess risk factors and treatment options for mesh infection. Modifiable risk factors for mesh infections include active smoking, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, abdominal skin or wound issues, and obesity. Operative factors that increase the risk of mesh infection include prior hernia repair, enterotomy and contamination of the surgical field. Of the synthetic meshes, lightweight polypropylene has the highest likelihood of salvage. Patients that are current smokers, those with other synthetic mesh types, and those infected with MRSA are rarely salvaged. Following excision of infected mesh, multi-staged abdominal wall reconstruction can be considered. Biologic or biosynthetic mesh is recommended when repairing incisional hernias following excision of infected mesh and likely represent the patient's best chance at a definitive hernia repair. Wound VAC-assisted delayed primary closure should be considered in higher-risk patients. Mesh infection is a complex complication that is commonly encountered by surgeons performing hernia repair. Prevention through patient optimization should be performed whenever appropriate. However, when patients develop a mesh infection, most will require complete mesh excision and recurrent hernia repair.

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