Sutureless onlay hernia repair: a review of 97 patients

Charles P. Shahan, Nathaniel F. Stoikes, David L. Webb, Guy R. Voeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Repair of large ventral/incisional (V/I) hernias is a common problem. Outside of recurrence, other factors such as wound complications and mesh infection can create significant morbidity. Chevrel described the premuscular repair and later modified it by using glue over the midline closure. We previously described our onlay technique using fibrin glue alone in a small case series. The aim of this study is to review the largest case series of sutureless onlay V/I hernia repair whereby mesh is fixated with fibrin glue alone for complex ventral hernias, and how the technique has evolved. Methods: All patients who underwent onlay V/I hernia repair over a 3-year period were reviewed. Patient demographics, operative details, complications, and follow-up were reviewed. Results: In total, 97 patients were included. 54.6 % were female, with a mean age of 57.3 years. Mean BMI was 32.2. 23(23.7 %) patients had diabetes. 90 (92.8 %) of the operations were for incisional hernias, 3 (3.1 %) primary ventral hernias, 2 (2.1 %) flank hernias, and 2 (2 %) complex abdominal wall reconstruction. 88 (90.7 %) of the cases were performed on an elective basis. 77 (77.3 %) cases were classified as clean, 21 (21.6 %) clean-contaminated, and 1 (1.0 %) contaminated. The mean defect size was 150 cm2. Mean follow-up was 386 days, and maximum was 3.1 years. There were 21 (21.6 %) seromas, 4 (4.1 %) wound infections, 7 (7.4 %) had skin necrosis, and 9 (9.3 %) required re-operation due to a complication. At 3 years, there have been no recurrences or mesh explants. Conclusions: The sutureless onlay V/I hernia repair with fibrin glue fixation has proven to be durable with a comparable complication profile to other techniques. The most common sequela, seroma, is easily managed in the outpatient setting. This sutureless technique is an effective option for onlay hernia repair that may provide several advantages over traditional suture techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3256-3261
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal wall
  • Fibrin glue
  • Hernia
  • Onlay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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