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Effects of the Short Stitch Technique for Midline Abdominal Closure on Incisional Hernia (ESTOIH): Randomized Clinical Trial

Br J Surg. 2022 Jun 16:znac194. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znac194. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Incisional hernia remains a frequent problem after midline laparotomy. This study compared a short stitch to standard loop closure using an ultra-long-term absorbent elastic suture material.

METHODS: A prospective, multicentre, parallel-group, double-blind, randomized, controlled superiority trial was designed for the elective setting. Adult patients were randomly assigned by computer-generated sequence to fascial closure using a short stitch (5 to 8 mm every 5 mm, USP 2-0, single thread HR 26 mm needle) or long stitch technique (10 mm every 10 mm, USP 1, double loop, HR 48 mm needle) with a poly-4-hydroxybutyrate-based suture material (Monomax®). Incisional hernia assessed by ultrasound 1 year after surgery was the primary outcome.

RESULTS: The trial randomized 425 patients to short (n = 215) or long stitch technique (n = 210) of whom 414 (97.4 per cent) completed 1 year of follow-up. In the short stitch group, the fascia was closed with more stitches (46 (12 s.d.) versus 25 (7 s.d.); P < 0.001) and higher suture-to-wound length ratio (5.3 (2.2 s.d.) versus 4.0 (1.3 s.d.); P < 0.001). At 1 year, seven of 210 (3.3 per cent) patients in the short and 13 of 204 (6.4 per cent) patients in the long stitch group developed incisional hernia (odds ratio 1.97, 95 per cent confidence interval 0.77 to 5.05; P = 0.173).

CONCLUSION: The 1-year incisional hernia development was relatively low with clinical but not statistical difference between short and long stitches. Registration number: NCT01965249 (

PMID:35707932 | DOI:10.1093/bjs/znac194

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