BACKGROUND: Traditionally, the use of absorbable mesh in contaminated fields aimed to reduce postoperative morbidity at the expense of increased hernia recurrence. This dogma has recently been challenged in randomized trials that demonstrate the advantages of permanent mesh in this setting. Although these studies are of high quality, their reproducibility across institutions is limited. We sought to compare the outcomes between permanent and absorbable mesh in a multicentric cohort from the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative. STUDY DESIGN: Patients who underwent elective ventral hernia repair in class II and III surgeries from January 2013 to December 2021 were identified within the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative. Outcomes were compared among permanent (P), absorbable synthetic (AS), and biologic (B) mesh at 30 days and 1 year using a propensity score-matched analysis. RESULTS: A total of 2,484 patients were included: 73.4% P, 11.2% AS, and 15.4% B. Of these, 64% were clean-contaminated and 36% contaminated interventions. After propensity score-matched analysis, there was no significant difference between groups regarding surgical site occurrence (P 16%, AS 15%, B 21%, p = 0.13), surgical site infection (P 12%, AS 14%, B 12%, p = 0.64), and surgical site occurrence requiring procedural intervention at 30 days (P 12%, AS 15%, B 17%, p = 0.1). At 1 year, the recurrence rate was significantly lower among the permanent group (P 23%, AS 40%, B 32%, p = 0.029). CONCLUSIONS: In this multicentric cohort, permanent mesh has equivalent 30-day outcomes and lower rates of hernia recurrence at 1 year after hernia repair in contaminated fields.
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