Background Management of the open abdomen with polyglactin 910 mesh followed by split-thickness skin grafts allows safe, early closure of abdominal wounds. This technique can be modified to manage enteroatmospheric fistulae. Staged ventral hernia is performed in a less inflamed surgical field. Methods A retrospective review was performed of 59 consecutive patients who underwent abdominal skin grafting for open abdominal wounds from 2001 to 2011. Results The median length of follow-up was 215 days. Thirty-one percent of patients presented with preexisting enteroatmospheric fistulae, and 41% required polyglactin 910 mesh placement before skin grafting. Partial or complete skin graft failure occurred in 7 patients. Four patients required repeat skin grafting. All patients ultimately achieved abdominal wound closure, and none developed de novo fistulae. Conclusions With proper technique, skin grafting of the open abdomen with a planned ventral hernia repair is a safe and effective alternative to delayed primary closure.
- Abdominal wall reconstruction
- Enteroatmospheric fistula
- Enterocutaneous fistula
- Open abdomen
- Skin graft