Background: Incisional hernias in old stoma wounds occur in one-third of former stoma patients and pose a significant clinical problem. Parastomal hernias can be prevented by prophylactic mesh placement; however, no trial results are available for incisional hernia prevention after stoma reversal. In this feasibility study, we explore the safety of placing an intraperitoneal mesh to prevent incisional herniation after temporary stoma reversal.
Methods: Ten patients who underwent a low anterior resection with a deviating double-loop stoma for rectal cancer received an intraperitoneal parastomal mesh at the time of stoma formation. At stoma reversal, laparoscopy was performed and adhesions were scored. After reversal, the mesh defect was closed. Mesh and stoma complications were closely monitored. Incisional herniation was assessed at the 2-year follow-up after stoma reversal using ultrasonography.
Results: No infections occurred after mesh placement. After a median of 6 months, stomas were reversed. Laparoscopy could be performed in seven patients; all patients had adhesions (median of 25 % of mesh surface). In three patients, the bowel was involved; one required a laparotomy for bowel mobilization during stoma reversal. No adhesion-related morbidity was noted at any time. Except for one superficial wound infection after stoma reversal, no infectious complications were observed. After a median follow-up of 26 months, no incisional herniations were demonstrated.
Conclusions: Prophylactic mesh placement in temporary stoma formations seems safe and feasible and prevents incisional herniation 2 years after stoma reversal.