Ximena A. Pinell-White, MD Sameer M. Kapadia, MD Albert Losken, MD
Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 34, Issue 2, 1 February 2014, Pages 264–271
Published: 01 February 2014
Incisional hernia can develop following breast reconstruction with abdominal tissue regardless of technique, and the management is often challenging.
The authors characterize hernias following transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap procedures and evaluate outcomes of different strategies for repair.
All patients who underwent repair of a TRAM-related hernia or bulge between 2003 and 2011 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. A minimum of 2 years’ follow-up was required for inclusion in this series. Outcomes of different techniques for repair were compared and risk factors for hernia recurrence identified.
Forty-three patients underwent repair of a TRAM-related hernia or bulge, most often with mesh (74.4%, n = 32). At a mean overall follow-up of 5.2 years, 9 patients (20.9%) developed recurrent hernia or bulge. Compared to primary suture closure, the use of mesh was protective against recurrence (odds ratio, 0.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.00–0.65; P = .02), with the best results observed with fascial closure and underlay mesh reinforcement.
Incisional hernia following TRAM flap breast reconstruction can be a challenging problem. Attention to surgical technique and the use of mesh minimize the risk of recurrence.