Original Communications| Volume 125, ISSUE 2, P211-216, February 1999

Prevention of adhesion formation with use of sodium hyaluronate–based bioresorbable membrane in a rat model of ventral hernia repair with polypropylene mesh—A randomized, controlled study


      Background: There is a high incidence of adhesions after ventral hernia repair with polypropylene mesh. Hyaluronic acid (HA)–based membrane has been shown to reduce the incidence of adhesions in the absence of prosthetic mesh. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of HA membrane on the quantity and grade of adhesions and its effect on strength of repair after abdominal wall repair with polypropylene mesh. Methods: In 61 rats a full-thickness abdominal wall defect (excluding skin) was created, and a section of small bowel was abraded. The animals were randomized, receiving either HA membrane to cover the viscera or no membrane. The fascial defect was repaired with polypropylene mesh. Equal numbers of animals from each group were killed at 4 weeks and 8 weeks after surgery. Adhesion severity and percentage of mesh surface covered with adhesions were estimated. Tensile strength between mesh and muscle from each animal was measured. Sections of the mesh-muscle interface were examined histologically and measured for thickness and graded for inflammation and fibrosis. Results: Fifty-five animals survived until the end point. Animals in the HA membrane group had a significant reduction in (1) grade of adhesions between small bowel and mesh at 4 weeks (P = .009) and 8 weeks (P = .000001), (2) grade of adhesions between colon and mesh at 8 weeks (P = .00003), and (3) percentage of mesh covered with adhesions at 4 weeks (P = .01) and 8 weeks (P = .0000002). There was no difference between the 2 groups in tensile strength of the repairs, tissue thickness, degree of inflammation, or degree of fibrosis. Conclusions: HA membrane reduces the quantity and grade of adhesions of both small and large bowel, to polypropylene mesh in a rat model of ventral hernia repair, without compromising strength of the repair. (Surgery 1999;125:211-6.)
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