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OBJECTIVE: Umbilical hernia is a very frequent pathology, and plastic with prosthetic material is the most frequently used surgical procedure currently used for its repair. In patients with cirrhosis in asciic phase, this pathology is particularly frequent, with a tendency to rapidly increase in size and to become symptomatic. In the past treatment with traditional surgery in cirrhotic patients was considered problematic and was viewed with reserve, and only recently is the surgical approach recommended also in these patients. This study is aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of open umbilical hernia plastic with prosthetic material in cirrhotic and ascitic patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Our case-control study was conducted on 35 male patients with ascitic phase liver cirrhosis and an equal number of non-cirrhotic patients, all suffering from uncomplicated but symptomatic umbilical hernia, treated surgically consecutively from March 2005 to March 2015. All patients underwent open umbilical hernioplasty with placement of a retromuscular pre-aponeurotic mesh.
RESULTS: Of the 35 patients with liver cirrhosis, 20% were classified in Class C, according to Child-Pugh, 28.5% had a MELD score> 15. We have not shown any post-operative mortality. In general, minor complications were observed, more frequent in cirrhotic patients than in healthy controls (p = 0.0315). Among the aforementioned complications the most frequent were hematomas and wound infections, more frequent in cirrhotic patients in Class C according to Child- Pugh and with MELD score> 15 (p <0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that umbilical hernia pathology in ascitic cirrhotic patients can be treated surgically with satisfactory results especially in Child-Pugh class A and B patients. The surgical approach of choice must, preferably, be the preferred prosthetic plastic after pre-operative optimization of the coagulation, nutritional and ascitic state.