Preventing intra-abdominal adhesions with polylactic acid film: An animal study

Shmuel Avital, Thomas J. Bollinger, James D. Wilkinson, Floriano Marchetti, Michael D. Hellinger, Laurence R. Sands*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an absorbable polylactic acid film (SurgiWrap™) in preventing postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions in an animal model. METHODS: Forty-four female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent laparotomy with subsequent cecal wall abrasion and abdominal wall injury. Rats were divided equally between untreated and treated groups. Treated rats had a polylactic acid film (SurgiWrap™) placed between the cecal and abdominal wall defects. Rats in the untreated group received no barrier material. The animals were killed on postoperative day 21. Two blinded observers, using predetermined criteria, graded the cecum-to-abdominal wall adhesions and estimated the percent of cecal surface area involved in the adhesion. The adhesions were classified as absent, moderate, or severe. RESULTS: Four rats died postoperatively. Of surviving rats, all of the rats in the untreated group had cecum-to-abdominal wall adhesions, whereas 42.1 percent of rats in the treated group had no adhesions between the cecum and the abdominal wall (two-tailed, P = 0.001). Altogether, 28.6 percent and 71.4 percent of untreated rats experienced moderate and severe adhesions, respectively, compared to 47.4 percent and 10.5 percent of treated rats (two-tailed, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Strategic placement of polylactic acid film during abdominal surgery is associated with a significantly reduced rate and severity of postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions in this model. A technique for film placement is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdomen
  • Adhesions
  • Animal
  • Biocompatible materials
  • Disease models
  • Polylactic acid
  • Postoperative complications
  • Rats


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