Background: Ventral mesh rectopexy (VMR) is a widely accepted surgical treatment for rectal prolapse. Both synthetic and biologic mesh are used. No consensus exists on the preferred type of mesh material. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to establish an overview of the current literature on mesh-related complications and recurrence after VMR with synthetic or biologic mesh to aid evidence-based decision making in preferred mesh material.
Methods: A systematic search of the electronic databases of PubMed, Embase and Cochrane was performed (from inception until September 2020). Studies evaluating patients who underwent VMR with synthetic or biologic mesh were eligible. The MINORS score was used for quality assessment.
Results: Thirty-two studies were eligible after qualitative assessment. Eleven studies reported on mesh-related complications including 4001 patients treated with synthetic mesh and 762 treated with biologic mesh. The incidence of mesh-related complications ranged between 0 and 2.4% after synthetic versus 0–0.7% after biologic VMR. Synthetic mesh studies showed a pooled incidence of mesh-related complications of 1.0% (95% CI 0.5–1.7). Data of biologic mesh studies could not be pooled. Twenty-nine studies reported on the risk of recurrence in 2371 synthetic mesh patients and 602 biologic mesh patients. The risk of recurrence varied between 1.1 and 18.8% for synthetic VMR versus 0–15.4% for biologic VMR. Cumulative incidence of recurrence was found to be 6.1% (95% CI 4.3–8.1) and 5.8% (95% CI 2.9–9.6), respectively. The clinical and statistical heterogeneity was high.
Conclusions: No definitive conclusions on preferred mesh type can be made due to the quality of the included studies with high heterogeneity amongst them.