Gdansk  Poland

2001- 2009

New York City



2001- 2009, New York City





One of the potential shortcomings of the mesh- plug hernioplasty is a placement of the three dimensional plug placed in preperitoneal space. Such bulky plug has a potential to migration, may cause pressure and injury  to the surrounding tissue- bladder, bowels, blood vessels.


Trabucco repair caught my attention as it offered a solution for that.  Flat, pre-peritoneal, preshaped "plug" seemed to be more convenient and safe for inguinal hernia repair, whereas a three dimensional plug still remained a good option for "a tunnel like" femoral type of hernia.. The best part, for direct hernia, only one piece of  onlay mesh was recommended..

Dr Ermanno Trabucco from Queens, NY was an Italian American surgeon who organized one of the first outpatient Hernia Clinic in early 90-ties.

He developed his technique sutureless tension-free mesh repair for  uninsured Italian emigrants who could afford hospital stay so required early mobilization. 

Living in NYC I had opportunity to meet with Dr Trabucco being invited on several occasions to his house and learn from him about his experience. I helped to put together his second edition of "Atlas of Trabucco sutureless hernioplasty" convinced that it should have been more popularized (download below)

Preshaped flat onlay mesh placed
without suturing on the posterior wall
External oblique apponeurosis
being closed under spermatic cord
No need for mesh suturing
as long as apponerosis is strong enough
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Survetta  Hernia Experts Meeting in St Moritz, Switzerland, July 2008.


Later, I came across a report from several urological centers about injury and occlusion of the vas deference as a result of direct contact with the mesh in inguinal canal. I thought that Trabucco approach to separate the mesh from spermatic cord with the aponeurosis of external abdominal muscle closed below spermatic cord, would be a great solution to decrease risk of such injury.


My letter to editor was  published in Annals  of Surgery

After that, one day during my transplant clinical fellowship, I was invited for the Survetta  Hernia Experts Meeting in St Moritz, Switzerland to discuss my idea with other experts in the hernia field. It was a very exciting experience! All presentations and discussions from the meeting were published in the book (below)  and summary of the event  in the conference report: Hernia 2008, 12, 671-673.






For incisional hernia Dr Trabucco proposed the same sutureless concept: placing a polypropylene mesh with flat shape memory in preperitoneal or retromuscular space with closure of the fascia above should be sufficient repair with minimal suturing and injury to the tissue. Mesh placed in close space is integrated with connective tissue around within a couple of weeks and patch the defect. The sutures closing the fascia about the mesh should reassure the integrity of the the wound only for 2-3 weeks after the surgery. 

I found this technique very effective for umbilical, periumbilical, and incisional hernia in midline as well as after kidney transplant. in the flank. For full description of the technique, please see Atlas and our article on our hernia publication website.  


One day, I had to take my patient  back to the OR and open the wound 3 weeks after incisional hernia repair  and could not remove the mesh since it was so well adherent to the fascia it was placed on. It reassured me additionally that this technique works.


Technical tip: I leave a drain directly over the mesh to prevent fluid collection and enhance mesh into  tissue integration. In case the defect is too big so I can't close a posterior fascia or peritoneum, I use biomaterial for bridging the gap suturing it around and place sutureless polypropylene mesh above as describe above.  

Meh with flat shape memory
in preperitoneal or retromuscular space
Upper abdomen defect
No sutures used to anchor the mesh
Lower abdomen defect
mesh not anchored to tissue
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Transplantation Institute

Clinical  Research Center


Islet and Kidney Transplantation

Manager, Lindsay Basto RN MSN

tel. (773) 702-2504

fax (773) 926-0671


Islet and Cell Processing and Research

Manager, Karolina Golab, PhD

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Transplant Center

Polish-American Transplant Center


Clinical Coordinator

Patrycja Ulijaszyk RN


Transplantation Institute

University of Chicago Medicine

5841 S. Maryland Avenue

MC 5026, J-517

Chicago IL 60637

© 2018 by Kajetan Witkowski