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Combination of Surgical Technique and Bioresorbable Mesh Reinforcement of the Crural Repair Leads to Low Early Hernia Recurrence Rates with Laparoscopic Paraesophageal Hernia Repair

Walaa F. Abdelmoaty, Christy M. Dunst, Filippo Filicori, Ahmed M. Zihni, Daniel Davila-Bradley, Kevin M. Reavis

Lee L. Swanstrom, Steven R. DeMeester

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 2019

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Laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia (PEH) is associated with a low morbidity and mortality but an objective hernia recurrence rate in excess of 50% at 5 years. Biologic mesh has not been shown to reduce hernia recurrence rates. Recently, a new bioresorbable mesh made with poly-4-hydroxybutyrate with a Sepra-Technology coating on one side (Phasix-ST mesh) has become available. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and short-term efficacy of Phasix-ST mesh for reinforcement of the primary crural closure in patients undergoing elective, laparoscopic PEH repair.


A prospective database was initiated and maintained for all patients undergoing PEH repair with the use of Phasix-ST mesh. We retrospectively reviewed the records of consecutive patients who had an elective, first-time laparoscopic PEH repair with Phasix-ST mesh and who completed their 1-year objective follow-up study. Patients having a reoperation, non-laparoscopic repair, or who failed to comply with the objective follow-up were excluded.


To achieve the desired 50 patients with 1-year objective follow-up, we reviewed the records of 90 consecutive PEH patients. In the final cohort of 50 patients, there were 32 females (64%) and 18 males. The median age of the patients at surgery was 67 years (range 44–84). The operation was PEH repair with fundoplication alone in 29 patients (58%) and PEH repair with Collis gastroplasty and fundoplication in 21 patients (42%). Phasix-ST mesh was used for crural reinforcement in all patients, and there were no intraoperative issues with the mesh or any difficulty placing or fixating the mesh at the hiatus. A diaphragm relaxing incision was performed in 2 patients (4%). The mean length of hospital stay was 2.8 days, and there was no major morbidity or mortality. On the 1-year objective follow-up study (median 12 months) a recurrent hernia was found in 4 patients (8%). No patient that had a Collis gastroplasty or a relaxing incision had a recurrent hernia. No patient had a reoperation. No patient had a mesh infection or mesh erosion.


Phasix-ST mesh reinforcement of the crural closure during laparoscopic primary, elective PEH repair was associated with no adverse mesh-related events such as infection or erosion. Phasix-ST crural reinforcement in combination with tension-reduction techniques when necessary resulted in a very low (8%) objective hernia recurrence rate at a median follow-up of 1 year. These results demonstrate the safety of Phasix-ST mesh for use at the hiatus for crural reinforcement. This safety, along with the encouraging short-term efficacy for reducing hernia recurrence, should encourage further studies using the combination of resorbable biosynthetic mesh crural reinforcement and tension-reducing techniques during repair of paraesophageal hernias.