Wittmann Patch

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The Wittmann Patch is an artificial bur which serves as a temporary abdominal fascial prosthesis in cases where the abdomen cannot be closed due to abdominal compartment syndrome or because multiple further operations are planned (staged abdominal repair). It consists of a sterile hook and a sterile loop sheet made from propylene.

Indications[edit]

A Acute conditions

  • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Blunt abdominal trauma
  • Penetrating abdominal trauma
  • Traumatic and non-traumatic intra-abdominal hemorrhage
  • Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Peritonitis / intra-abdominal infections
  • Acute pancreatitis / infected pancreatic necrosis
  • Bowel ischemia

B Chronic conditions

  • Chronic open abdomen with fistulas
  • Chronic open abdomen without fistulas
  • Large ventral hernias with fistulas
  • Large ventral hernias without fistulas
  • Failed ventral hernia repairs with meshes

C Prophylactically to avoid abdominal compartment syndrome

  • excessive peritoneal inflammation from abdominal organ transplantation
  • excessive peritoneal inflammation from major abdominal operations

Contraindications[edit]

The patch is not intended for permanent implantation.

Operative technique[edit]

The original bur a used by Dr. Wittmann consists of two sheets of the same size of 40 × 20 cm:

  • A softer loop sheet that that covers omentum with is tissue friendly back side - loops facing outwards
  • A harder hook sheet on top of the loop sheet - hooks facing inwards to be pressed into the loops


The softer loop sheet is sutured to the right fascia using a running looped #1 Nylon suture. The stitches are 2 cm apart and 2 cm into the fascia and 1–2 cm into the bur to permit good perfusion between stitches. The sheet with loops facing outwards is then pushed between parietal and visceral peritoneum of the other side of the incision covering ab­dominal content.

Then the harder hook sheet is similarly sutured to the left fascia, and hooks are gently pressed into the loops of the loop sheet.

Generally the hook sheet is trimmed to fit the size of the open abdomen wound. In case of the massive peritoneal hypertension both sheets cover the open space and the hook sheet does not need trimming to fit the wound opening.

Clinical benefits[edit]

  • Use of the Wittmann Patch in patients allows for a significantly increased rate of delayed primary fascial closure after temporary abdominal closure when compared with a vacuum only closure or the use of a Bogota Bag.[1]
  • Use of the Wittmann Patch in combination with Staged Abdominal Repair decreases mortality by 20% in patient with APACHE-II score of 20 Page text.[2]

History[edit]

The Wittmann Patch was invented by Dietmar H. Wittmann, MD, PhD, FACS in 1987 while being a Professor of Surgery at the University of Hamburg, School of Medicine in Hamburg Germany. Dr. Wittmann continued research on the Wittmann Patch as a Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boele Van Hensbroek, P; Wind, J; Dijkgraaf, MG; Busch, OR; Carel Goslings, J (2009). "Temporary closure of the open abdomen: A systematic review on delayed primary fascial closure in patients with an open abdomen". World journal of surgery 33 (2): 199–207. doi:10.1007/s00268-008-9867-3. PMC 3259401. PMID 19089494. 
  2. ^ European Journal of Surgery 25: 273–84. 1994. [verification needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • openabdomen.org
  • Wittmann, DH; Bergstein, JM; Aprahamian, C (1989). "Etappenlavage for diffuse peritonitis". Beitr Anäst Intensivemed 30: 199–221. 
  • Wittmann, DH; Aprahamian, C; Bergstein, JM (1990). "Etappenlavage: advanced diffuse peritonitis managed by planned multiple laparotomies utilizing zippers, slide fastener, and Velcro analogue for temporary abdominal closure.". World journal of surgery 14 (2): 218–26. doi:10.1007/BF01664876. PMID 2183485. 
  • Aprahamian, C; Wittmann, DH; Bergstein, JM; Quebbeman, EJ (1990). "Temporary abdominal closure (TAC) for planned relaparotomy (etappenlavage) in trauma". The Journal of trauma 30 (6): 719–23. doi:10.1097/00005373-199006000-00011. PMID 2191142. 
  • Wittmann, DH; Aprahamian, C; Bergstein, JM; Edmiston, CE; Frantzides, CT; Quebbeman, EJ; Condon, RE (1993). "A burr-like device to facilitate temporary abdominal closure in planned multiple laparotomies". The European journal of surgery 159 (2): 75–9. PMID 8098630. 
  • Wittman, D. H. (2000). "Staged abdominal repair: Development and current practice of an advanced operative technique for diffuse suppurative peritonitis". European Surgery 32 (4): 171–8. doi:10.1007/BF02949258. 
  • Keramati, M; Srivastava, A; Sakabu, S; Rumbolo, P; Smock, M; Pollack, J; Troop, B (2008). "The Wittmann Patch s a temporary abdominal closure device after decompressive celiotomy for abdominal compartment syndrome following burn". Burns 34 (4): 493–7. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2007.06.024. PMID 17949916. 
  • Boele Van Hensbroek, P; Wind, J; Dijkgraaf, MG; Busch, OR; Carel Goslings, J (2009). "Temporary closure of the open abdomen: a systematic review on delayed primary fascial closure in patients with an open abdomen". World journal of surgery 33 (2): 199–207. doi:10.1007/s00268-008-9867-3. PMC 3259401. PMID 19089494. 

External links[edit]