Prevention of adhesions to polypropylene mesh

Isaac Felemovicius, Margaret E. Bonsack, Gonzalo Hagerman, John P. Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background Polypropylene mesh used to repair abdominal wall hernias routinely induces dense adhesions if there is direct contact between the mesh and the viscera. Adhesions may lead later to difficult reoperation, intestinal obstruction, or enteric fistula. Study design A 2.5-cm square defect was surgically created in the rat abdominal wall and replaced with: 1) polypropylene mesh, 2) Sepramesh (SM), or 3) SM plus Seprafilm. Each group included 20 animals. Adhesion area as a percent of the mesh surface was subjectively quantitated by means of laparoscopy and at sacrifice. Evaluations varied from 7 to 28 days after mesh placement. Tissues were harvested at intervals for scanning electron microscopy. Results Adhesions were complete by day 7, with no change in area thereafter. Adhesion-free mesh surfaces were found on scanning electron microscopy to be carpeted with mesothelial cells from day 5 on. Polypropylene mesh alone induced adhesions in all rats (20/20). The mean area involved was 92%. With SM, 9 of 20 were adhesion-free. The mean area was 15%. When Seprafilm was added to SM, minimal adhesions developed in 5 of 20 rats, the mean area being 2%. Four of the five were single point omental attachments. Conclusions 1) Sepramesh alone reduces polypropylene mesh adhesions by roughly three-quarters. 2) Sepramesh plus Seprafilm nearly eliminates such visceral adhesions. 3) Mesothelial cell coverage of polypropylene mesh confers adhesion resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a grant from Genzyme Corporation.


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