Systematic review and meta-analysis of prophylactic mesh placement for prevention of incisional hernia following midline laparotomy

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  • J E Fitzgerald
  • P Singh
  • N Battersby
  • P Marriott


PURPOSE: Incisional hernia is a common long-term complication after laparotomy. This study investigated whether prophylactic mesh reinforcement of laparotomy reduced the rate of incisional hernia, with emphasis on trial design and quality. METHODS: A systematic review of published literature was performed for studies comparing incisional hernia presence following conventional closure or prophylactic mesh reinforcement. Studies were assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool, the Jadad score and the Newcastle Ottawa Scale (NOS). The primary endpoint was incisional hernia, assessed by meta-analysis. RESULTS: Seven studies [four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and three prospective trials] included 588 patients; 262 received mesh reinforcement. All studies included elective patients at high risk of incisional hernia. Six incorporated a polypropylene mesh and one a biologic mesh. Four studies were judged high quality by NOS and two of four RCTs were at low risk of bias, although overall outcome assessment from all studies was either poor or mediocre. Mesh significantly reduced the rate of incisional hernia [odds ratio (OR) 0.15, p 


Original languageEnglish
JournalHernia: the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013