Acellular dermal matrices in abdominal wall reconstruction: a systematic review of the current evidence.

Jeffrey E. Janis, Anne C. O'Neill, Jamil Ahmad, Toni Zhong, Stefan O P Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Reconstruction of the anterior abdominal wall is a complex procedure that can be complicated by contamination, loss of domain, previous scarring or radiotherapy, and reduced availability of local tissues. With the introduction of acellular dermal matrices to clinical use, it was hoped that many of the problems associated with previous synthetic materials could be overcome. With their enhanced biocompatibility, acellular dermal matrices are believed to integrate with surrounding tissues while demonstrating resistance to infection, extrusion, erosion, and adhesion formation. The MEDLINE database was reviewed, including all publications as of December 31, 2011, using the search terms "dermal matrix" or "human dermis" or "porcine dermis" or "bovine dermis," applying the limits "human" and "English language." Prospective and retrospective clinical articles were identified. A total of 40 eligible articles were identified and included in this review. Thirty-five of the studies were level IV; the remaining studies were level III. Acellular dermal matrix was used to reconstruct the abdominal wall in a wide range of clinical settings, including trauma, tumor resection, sepsis, and hernia repairs. The operative methods varied widely among clinical studies. While the heterogeneity of the patient populations and techniques limited interpretation of the data, concerns were identified regarding high rates of hernia recurrence with acellular dermal matrix use. High-quality data derived from level I, II, and III studies are necessary to determine the indications for acellular dermal matrix use and the optimal surgical techniques to maximize outcomes in abdominal wall reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183S-93S
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5 Suppl 2
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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