The impact of abdominal incisional closure techniques on rates of fascial dehiscence

Tolstrup MB, Watt SK, Gögenur I. Reduced Rate of Dehiscence After Implementation of a Standardized Fascial Closure Technique in Patients Undergoing Emergency Laparotomy. Ann Surg. 2017 Apr;265(4):821-826.

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RESULTS: We included 494 patients from 2014 to 2015 and 1079 patients from our historical cohort for comparison. All patients had a midline laparotomy in an emergency setting. The rate of dehiscence was reduced from 6.6% to 3.8%, P = 0.03 comparing year 2009 to 2013 with 2014 to 2015. Factors associated with dehiscence were male gender [hazard ratio (HR) 2.8, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) (1.8-4.4), P < 0.001], performance status ≥3 [HR 2.1, 95% CI (1.2-3.7), P = 0.006], cirrhosis [HR 3.8, 95% CI (1.5-9.5), P = 0.004], and retention sutures [HR 2.8, 95% CI (1.6-4.9), P < 0.000]. The 30-day mortality rate was 18.4% in the standardized group vs 22.4% in 2009 to 2013, P = 0.057 and 90-day mortality 24.2% vs 30.4%, P = 0.008.

CONCLUSION: The standardized procedure of closing the midline laparotomy by using a “small steps” technique of continuous suturing with a slowly absorbable (polydioxanone) suture material reduces the rate of fascial dehiscence.


Henriksen NA, et al. Meta-analysis on Materials and Techniques for Laparotomy Closure: The MATCH Review.World J Surg. 2018 Jun;42(6):1666-1678.

suture forest plotFig. 3 Forest plot of incisional hernia rates using a continuous suturing technique versus an interrupted suturing technique and forest plot of incisional hernia using small bites versus big bites suturing with the same suture material in both arms

RESULTS: A total of 23 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. There was no evidence from RCTs using the same suture technique in both study arms that any suture material (fast-absorbable/slowly absorbable/non-absorbable) is superior in reducing incisional hernias. There is no evidence that continuous suturing is superior in reducing incisional hernias compared to interrupted suturing. When using a slowly absorbable suture for continuous suturing in elective midline closure, the small bites technique results in significantly less incisional hernias than a large bites technique (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.19, 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS: There is no high-quality evidence available concerning the best suture material or technique to reduce incisional hernia rate when closing a laparotomy. When using a slowly absorbable suture and a continuous suturing technique with small tissue bites, the incisional hernia rate is significantly reduced compared with a large bites technique.


MorePubMed results on suturing techniques for midline laparotomy.

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