Balancing mesh-related complications and benefits in primary ventral and incisional hernia surgery. A meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis

López Cano Manuel, A. Martin Dominguez Lidia, José Antonio Pereira, Armengol Carrasco Manuel, M. García Alamino Josep

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19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 López-Cano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Primary ventral hernia (PVH) and incisional hernia (IH) repair using a mesh appears to reduce hernia recurrence. However, are the benefits of mesh offset in part by mesh-related complications? The aim of this study was to compare placement of a mesh versus simple suture for recurrence and postoperative complications in the repair of PVH or IH. Methods Five databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The study population was patients with a PVH or IH undergoing hernia repair. Intervention was placement of a nonabsorbable synthetic mesh, regardless of mesh location, surgical technique, hernia characteristics or surgical setting compared to primary suture. Primary outcome was the incidence of hernia recurrence. Secondary outcomes were wound infection, hematoma, seroma, postsurgical pain, duration of operation, and quality of life. A random-effects meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis (TSA) was used. Results 10 RCTs with a total of 1270 patients were included. A significant reduction of the incidence of PVH or IH recurrence using a mesh for repair (risk ratio [RR] 0.39, 95% CI 0.27–0.55; P < 0.00001; I2 = 20%) was observed. TSA for recurrence, the accrued information size (1270) was 312% of the estimated required information size (RIS). Subgroup analysis for PVH and IH confirms reduction of recurrence after using a mesh in both groups. Overall postoperative complications did not show statistically significant differences between the mesh and surgical suture groups (RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.94–1.84; P = 0.12; I2 = 27%) but the accrued information size was only 22.4% of RIS and by subgroups complications were only related with IH repair. Conclusions Evidence for the efficacy of repair of PVH or IH using a nonabsorbable synthetic mesh in terms of recurrence was found to be robust. Evidence for complications remains inconclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0197813
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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