BACKGROUND: In hernia repair, particularly laparoscopic hernia repair, direct contact between mesh and abdominal organs cannot always be avoided. Several mesh materials and composite meshes have been developed to decrease subsequent adhesion formation. Recently, new meshes have been introduced. In an experimental rat study, their value was established and compared with that of meshes already available on the market. METHODS: In 200 rats, eight different meshes were placed intraperitoneally and in direct contact with abdominal viscera. The following meshes were tested: polypropylene (Prolene), e-PTFE (Dualmesh), polypropylene- polyglecaprone composite (Ultrapro), titanium-polypropylene composite (Timesh), polypropylene with carboxymethylcellulose-sodium hyaluronate coating (Sepramesh), polyester with collagen-polyethylene glycol-glycerol coating (Parietex Composite), polypropylene-polydioxanone composite with oxidized cellulose coating (Proceed), and bovine pericardium (Tutomesh). At 7 and then at 30 days postoperatively, adhesion formation, mesh incorporation, tensile strength, shrinkage, and infection were scored by two independent observers. RESULTS: Parietex Composite, Sepramesh, and Tutomesh resulted in decreased surface coverage with adhesions, whereas Prolene, Dualmesh, Ultrapro, Timesh, and Proceed resulted in increased adhesion coverage. Parietex Composite, Prolene, Ultrapro, and Sepramesh resulted in the most mesh incorporation. Dualmesh and Tutomesh resulted in significantly increased shrinkage. There were no differences in mesh infection. Parietex Composite and Dualmesh resulted in a moderate inflammatory reaction, as compared with the mild reaction the other meshes exhibited. CONCLUSION: Parietex Composite and Sepramesh combine minimal adhesion formation with maximum mesh incorporation and tensile strength. The authors recommend the use of these meshes for hernia repair in which direct contact with the abdominal viscera cannot be avoided.
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