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RECONSTRUCTION of abdominal hernias is a surgical challenge. Synthetic mesh materials are being increasingly used for the reconstruction of abdominal hernias to achieve tension-free closure. The use of mesh has resulted in significant reductions in postoperative pain, length of the recovery period and hernia recurrence rates (Bellows and others 2008). However, these materials also induce a strong inflammatory reaction, which can lead to scar formation, chronic pain, adhesions to the underlying viscera and bowel fistula. These materials can also contribute to surgical site infections, skin erosion and seroma formation (Eid and others 2003). Because of these synthetic mesh-related complications, biological biomaterials may be preferred for the reconstruction of hernias.
Biological biomaterials are superior to synthetic materials in the reconstruction of abdominal hernias, owing to their ability to minimise adhesion formation, and to provide a better framework for fibroblast proliferation and neovascularisation. Moreover, their multidirectional fibrous structure helps in better suture retention, complete absorption and becomes replaced by host tissue (Singh and others 2008). However, biological biomaterials in their native form tend to be more immunogenic and hence are decellularised to minimise their immunogenicity (Gilbert and others 2006). Decellularised porcine and bubaline aorta have been used for the reconstruction of abdominal hernias in rats (Bellows and others 2008) and Holstein-Friesian calves (Devarathnam and others 2012), respectively, with excellent results. An in …