Plastic Mesh Improves Gastric Bypass Outcomes

It helps prevent a common hernia linked to the procedure

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- A polypropylene mesh can help shield gastric bypass patients from a common and debilitating complication, researchers say.

Incisional hernias, which occur in about 25 percent of patients who have open gastric bypass surgery, can lead to serious complications.

Polish researchers at Barlicki Hospital, in Lodz, tracked the outcomes of obese patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery. They used a polypropylene mesh to help close incisions in 34 patients, while another 36 patients had their incisions closed with standard sutures.

Reporting in the latest issue of the British Journal of Surgery, the team said that 8 of the patients who received sutures only developed hernias. In contrast, none of the patients who received the mesh closures developed the condition.

The mesh did not affect any other aspect of patient treatment, including length of hospitalization or overall cost of the surgery, which is done to help obese people lose weight.

"Developing a hernia is the most common reason why patients return to hospital after a gastric bypass, so finding that mesh can prevent this is important," study lead author Dr. Janusz Strzelczyk said in prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. Patient Education Institute has more about incisional hernias.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Sept. 27, 2006
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