5 years ago

Drain Placement Does Not Increase Infectious Complications After Retromuscular Ventral Hernia Repair with Synthetic Mesh: an AHSQC Analysis

Alfredo M. Carbonell, Ivy N. Haskins, Sharon Phillips, David M. Krpata, Ajita S. Prabhu, Michael J. Rosen, Benjamin K. Poulose



The use of surgical drains after ventral hernia repair (VHR) remains controversial. Some have concerns of increased infectious complications; others advocate that drains reduce fluid accumulation and surgical site occurrences (SSO). The aim of our study was to investigate the impact of retromuscular drains on SSO following retromuscular VHR with synthetic mesh.


Utilizing the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative, patients between January 2013 and January 2016 undergoing retromuscular VHR with synthetic mesh were assessed for the presence of a drain. Propensity score matched patients (2 drains: 1 no drain) were evaluated for 30-day rates of SSO, surgical site infections (SSI) and SSO requiring procedural intervention (SSOPI).


Five hundred eighty-one patients were identified as having undergone open, retromuscular VHR with synthetic mesh. Four hundred eighty-one patients with drains and 100 without drains. After matching, 300 patients were compared, 200 with drain placement and 100 without. Retromuscular drains were less likely to develop a noninfectious SSO (OR, 0.33). Drain placement was not associated with SSI (OR, 1.30) or SSOPI (OR, 0.94).


Drain placement after retromuscular VHR with synthetic mesh is a common practice. Based on an analysis of early outcomes, surgical drains do not increase the risk of surgical infectious complications, and may be protective against some SSOs, such as seroma formation.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11605-017-3601-0

DOI: 10.1007/s11605-017-3601-0

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