Temporary closure of the abdominal wall by use of silicone rubber sheets after operative repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms

Donald L. Akers, Richard J. Fowl, Richard F. Kempczinski, Kenneth Davis, James M. Hurst, Sandra Uhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Management of patients after operative repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms can be further complicated if primary closure of the abdominal wall cannot be technically accomplished or is associated with profound increases in intraabdominal and peak inspiratory pressures. We recently treated five patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms and one patient with a ruptured thoracoabdominal aneurysm whose abdominal incisions had to be closed with a Dacron reinforced, silicone sheet. All patients were hemodynamically unstable either at admission to the hospital or became so during operation. Four patients required the insertion of a silicone rubber sheet at the primary operation because of massive retroperitoneal hematoma or edema of the bowel wall or both. Incisions in two patients were closed primarily, but the patients required reexploration and secondary closure with silicone rubber sheets because of the development of marked increases in peak inspiratory pressures, intraabdominal pressures, and decreased urinary output. Four of the six patients subsequently underwent successful removal of the silicone rubber sheets with delayed primary closure of the abdominal wall, and two others died before removal. The patient with the ruptured thoracoabdominal aneurysm died on postoperative day 20 because of pulmonary sepsis but had a healed abdominal incision. The three surviving patients have been discharged. A silicone rubber sheet may be necessary for closure of the abdominal wall after repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm in patients where primary abdominal wall closure is impossible or where it results in compromise in respiratory or renal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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