Background: Long-term efficacy of biological and synthetic bioabsorbable meshes for large hernia repair is currently unclear. This rabbit study is aimed at investigating 1-y outcome of biological and synthetic bioabsorbable meshes for augmentation of large abdominal wall defects.
Materials and methods: In 46 rabbits, an 11 × 4 cm, full-thickness abdominal wall defect was repaired primarily, or with cross-linked (Permacol, Collamend) or non-cross-linked (Surgisis 4-ply, Surgisis Biodesign) biological, synthetic bioabsorbable (GORE BIO-A Tissue Reinforcement [TR], TIGR Matrix Surgical Mesh [MSM]), or polypropylene (Bard Mesh) meshes, using the underlay augmentation technique. One year after surgery, primary outcome was recurrence; secondary outcomes were tensile strength, histologic degree of tissue remodeling, and intraabdominal adhesion formation.
Results: Only two Surgisis 4-ply animals (50%) presented with a recurrent hernia. All GORE BIO-A TR meshes were completely resorbed and, as after primary repair, well-organized connective tissue without inflammation was present, with moderate adhesion formation and sufficient tensile strength. Cross-linked biological and TIGR MSM meshes demonstrated highest tensile strength but were only partially incorporated, with similar foreign body reaction and adhesion formation as polypropylene meshes in the TIGR MSM group, and minimal degradation and moderate adhesion formation in the cross-linked biological group. In the non-cross-linked biological group sufficient tensile strength and moderate adhesion formation were found, with pronounced inflammation if mesh remnants were present.
Conclusions: Synthetic bioabsorbable GORE BIO-A TR meshes were associated with optimal tissue remodeling, with complete resorption, presence of well-organized tissue, and no inflammation. However, mesh augmentation had no advantages regarding recurrence rate versus primary repair of large abdominal wall defects