, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 2039-2045
Date: 29 May 2013

Prophylactic Mesh Reinforcement Reduces Stomal Site Incisional Hernia after Ileostomy Closure

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Stomal site incisional hernia is a common complication following ileostomy closure. The effectiveness of prophylactic mesh placement at the time of stomal closure is unknown because of fear of mesh infection and subsequent wound complications. The present study investigated whether prophylactic mesh placement reduces the rate of incisional hernia after ileostomy closure without increasing wound complications. The study was based on retrospective review of consecutive ileostomy closures undertaken at a tertiary referral center between January 2007 and December 2011. Hernias were identified through clinical examination and computed tomography.


Eighty-three cases of ileostomy closure were reviewed; 47 patients received mesh reinforcement, and 36 underwent non-mesh closure (controls). In total, 16 (19.3 %) patients developed incisional hernia, 13 (36.1 %) of which occurred in the control group; 3 (6.4 %), in the mesh group [odds ratio (OR): 8.29; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.14–32.08; p = 0.001]. Incisional hernia repair was performed in 3 (23 %) patients in the control group; no hernias in the mesh group required surgery. There was no significant difference in wound infection rates between mesh (2 patients, 4.3 %) and control (1 patient, 2.8 %) groups. No mesh infection was found. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that malignancy (OR: 21.93, 95 % CI 1.58–303.95; p = 0.021) and diabetes (OR: 20.98, 95 % CI 3.23–136.31; p = 0.001) independently predicted incisional herniation, while mesh reinforcement prevented hernia development (OR: 0.06, 95 % CI 0.01–0.36; p = 0.002).


Mesh placement significantly reduced the incidence of incisional hernia following ileostomy closure, but without increasing complication rates. This technique should be strongly considered in patients at high risk of hernia development.