Purpose: The outcomes of utilizing anti-adhesive barrier-coated mesh in the retrorectus position during open ventral hernia repair are unknown. We compared the wound-related outcomes between non-coated (NCM) and coated mesh (CM) placed in the retrorectus space. Methods: Patients undergoing elective, open, clean ventral hernia repair with retrorectus mesh were retrospectively identified in the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative. Propensity score matching was performed based on clinically relevant demographic and operative covariates. The primary outcome was wound morbidity, defined as surgical site infection (SSI), surgical site occurrence (SSO), and SSO requiring procedural intervention (SSOPI). Results: 3609 patients were included (3281 NCM, 328 CM). Following 2:1 propensity score matching, rates of myofascial release remained the only statistically different matching parameter; external oblique releases were performed more frequently in the CM group (8% vs. 15%; p = 0.03). Rates of SSI (3% vs. 4%; p = 0.16) were similar between groups. Increased rates of SSO (13% vs. 18%; p = 0.045) and SSOPI (4% vs. 8%; p = 0.038) were observed in the CM group. The CM group had a higher rate of postoperative seroma (3% vs. 7%; p = 0.027) compared to the NCM group. Conclusion: Barrier-coated mesh in the retrorectus position was associated with increased wound morbidity requiring procedural intervention. Due to a lack of clinical benefit, the use of more costly barrier-coated mesh in the retrorectus position is not justified for routine, open ventral hernia repairs at this time.
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