Comparison of novel synthetic materials with traditional methods to repair exposed abdominal wall fascial defects

Shaghayegh Aliabadi-Wahle, Melissa Cnota, Ella Choe, Jean T. Jacob, Lewis M. Flint, John J. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Repair of large abdominal wall defects is a challenge, particularly when full-thickness tissue loss prohibits coverage of the fascial repair. Two novel synthetic materials (TMS-1 and TMS-2) have been shown to be better accepted than expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex), and polypropylene (Marlex) in the closure of clean and contaminated fascial wounds that are immediately covered by skin/soft tissue. Therefore, 1-cm2 abdominal wall defects were created in each of the four quadrants of rat groups. Gore-Tex, Marlex, and TMS-1 or TMS-2 were used to repair three defects, the fourth being primarily closed. To ensure that each repair remained exposed, skin edges were sutured to underlying muscle. Additional animal groups underwent the same protocol; however, peritonitis was induced at surgery using a fecal inoculum technique. Animals were sacrificed 2 weeks later, at which time a blinded observer assessed the surface area and severity of adhesions. In clean wounds, the surface area of formed adhesions was less (p <.004) after primary closure than each synthetic material; among the synthetics, TMS-2 caused significantly (P < .01) less extensive adhesions than Marlex. In addition, the severity of adhesions to TMS-2 was comparable to that of defects closed primarily, and less severe (p < .02) than those formed to Gore-Tex and Marlex. In animals with peritonitis, primary closure caused less extensive (p < .03) adhesions than Marlex and Gore-Tex and significantly (p < .002) less severe adhesions than Marlex, Gore-Tex, and TMS-2. However, the severity of adhesions formed to TMS-1 repairs proved comparable to primarily closed wounds. These experiments reaffirm the tenet that, whenever possible, abdominal wounds should undergo primary fascial closure. When soft tissue coverage over the repair cannot be achieved, TMS-2 is well tolerated in clean wounds. However, the superiority of TMS-1 over the other synthetic materials in contaminated wounds suggests it may also ultimately prove to be of clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Gore-Tex
  • Marlex mesh
  • Peritonitis
  • Primary abdominal closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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