Decalogue of transversus abdominis release repair – technical details and lessons learnt
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Background Posterior component separation (PCS) via transversus abdominis release (TAR) technique overcomes the pitfalls of traditionally described repairs. We evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach and present the lessons we have learnt in our experience with a large series of complex ventral hernias. We also evaluate the importance of pre-operative optimisation and the value of a dedicated abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR) team in improving the surgical outcomes. Study Design A retrospective review of all patients undergoing TAR at a specialised hernia centre in the 2016-2019 period was performed. Pertinent data collected included patient demographics, peri-operative details and post-operative complications. Primary outcome variables were surgical site occurrences (SSO) and hernia recurrence. A multivariate regression model was developed to determine significant predictors of SSO. Results In 92 consecutive patients, the mean age was 52 years with a mean body mass index of 27.9%. Major comorbidities included diabetes (41%), hypertension (23%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (15%). The mean hernia defect was 13.2 cm and the average operative time was 232 minutes. Complete posterior sheath closure was achieved in 95.6% cases. There were 18 (19.5%) cases of SSO which were managed conservatively and no cases required mesh explanation. There were 2 (2.1%) recurrences which required a redo surgery. On multivariate analysis operative time (p value 0.047) was a significant predictor of SSO. Conclusions AWR using the TAR approach offers a robust repair with low overall morbidity. A holistic pre-operative optimisation strategy and a dedicated AWR team can further improve surgical outcomes.
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