Comparative long-term effectiveness between ventral hernia repairs with biosynthetic and synthetic mesh

Benjamin G. Morrison, Kiah Gledhill, Margaret A. Plymale, Daniel L. Davenport, John S. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Debate exists regarding the most appropriate type of mesh to use in ventral hernia repair (VHR). Meshes are broadly categorized as synthetic or biologic, each mesh with individual advantages and disadvantages. More recently developed biosynthetic mesh has characteristics of both mesh types. The current study aims to examine long-term follow-up data and directly compare outcomes—specifically hernia recurrence—of VHR with biosynthetic versus synthetic mesh. Methods: With IRB approval, consecutive cases of VHR (CPT codes 49,560, 49,561, 49,565, and 49,566 with 49,568) performed between 2013 and 2018 at a single institution were reviewed. Local NSQIP data was utilized for patient demographics, perioperative characteristics, CDC Wound Class, comorbidities, and mesh type. A review of electronic medical records provided additional variables including hernia defect size, postoperative wound events to six months, duration of follow-up, and incidence of hernia recurrence. Longevity of repair was measured using Kaplan–Meier method and adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Biosynthetic mesh was used in 101 patients (23%) and synthetic mesh in 338 (77%). On average, patients repaired using biosynthetic mesh were older than those with synthetic mesh (57 vs. 52 years; p =.008). Also, ASA Class ≥ III was more common in biosynthetic mesh cases (70.3% vs. 55.1%; p =.016). Patients repaired with biosynthetic mesh were more likely than patients with synthetic mesh to have had a prior abdominal infection (30.7% vs. 19.8%; p =.029). Using a Kaplan–Meier analysis, there was not a significant difference in hernia recurrence between the two mesh types, with both types having Kaplan Meir 5-year recurrence-free survival rates of about 72%. Conclusion: Using Kaplan–Meier analysis, synthetic mesh and biosynthetic mesh result in comparable hernia recurrence rates and surgical site infection rates in abdominal wall reconstruction patients with follow-up to as long as five years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6044-6050
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Biosynthetic mesh
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Recurrence-free survival
  • Synthetic mesh
  • Ventral hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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