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1.  A randomised, multi-centre, prospective, double blind pilot-study to evaluate safety and efficacy of the non-absorbable Optilene® Mesh Elastic versus the partly absorbable Ultrapro® Mesh for incisional hernia repair 
BMC Surgery  2010;10:21.
Background
Randomised controlled trials with a long term follow-up (3 to 10 years) have demonstrated that mesh repair is superior to suture closure of incisional hernia with lower recurrence rates (5 to 20% versus 20 to 63%). Yet, the ideal size and material of the mesh are not defined. So far, there are few prospective studies that evaluate the influence of the mesh texture on patient's satisfaction, recurrence and complication rate. The aim of this study is to evaluate, if a non-absorbable mesh (Optilene® Mesh Elastic) will result in better health outcomes compared to a partly absorbable mesh (Ultrapro® Mesh).
Methods/Design
In this prospective, randomised, double blind study, eighty patients with incisional hernia after a midline laparotomy will be included. Primary objective of this study is to investigate differences in the physical functioning score from the SF-36 questionnaire 21 days after mesh insertion. Secondary objectives include the evaluation of the patients' daily activity, pain, wound complication and other surgical complications (hematomas, seromas), and safety within six months after intervention.
Discussion
This study investigates mainly from the patient perspective differences between meshes for treatment of incisional hernias. Whether partly absorbable meshes improve quality of life better than non-absorbable meshes is unclear and therefore, this trial will generate further evidence for a better treatment of patients.
Trial registration
NCT00646334
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-10-21
PMCID: PMC2913910  PMID: 20624273
2.  A prospective, randomised, controlled, double-blind phase I-II clinical trial on the safety of A-Part® Gel as adhesion prophylaxis after major abdominal surgery versus non-treated group 
BMC Surgery  2010;10:20.
Background
Postoperative adhesions occur when fibrous strands of internal scar tissue bind anatomical structures to one another. The most common cause of intra-abdominal adhesions is previous intra-abdominal surgical intervention. Up to 74% of intestinal obstructions are caused by post surgical adhesions. Although a variety of methods and agents have been investigated to prevent post surgical adhesions, the problem of peritoneal adhesions remains largely unsolved. Materials serving as an adhesion barrier are much needed.
Methods/Design
This is a prospective, randomised, controlled, patient blinded and observer blinded, single centre phase I-II trial, which evaluates the safety of A-Part® Gel as an adhesion prophylaxis after major abdominal wall surgery, in comparison to an untreated control group. 60 patients undergoing an elective median laparotomy without prior abdominal surgery are randomly allocated into two groups of a 1:1- ratio. Safety parameter and primary endpoint of the study is the occurrence of wound healing impairment or peritonitis within 28 (+10) days after surgery. The frequency of anastomotic leakage within 28 days after operation, occurrence of adverse and serious adverse events during hospital stay up to 3 months and the rate of adhesions along the scar within 3 months are defined as secondary endpoints. After hospital discharge the investigator will examine the enrolled patients at 28 (+10) days and 3 months (±14 days) after surgery.
Discussion
This trial aims to assess, whether the intra-peritoneal application of A-Part® Gel is safe and efficacious in the prevention of post-surgical adhesions after median laparotomy, in comparison to untreated controls.
Trial registration
NCT00646412
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-10-20
PMCID: PMC2912830  PMID: 20604918
3.  A historically controlled, single-arm, multi-centre, prospective trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MonoMax® suture material for abdominal wall closure after primary midline laparotomy. ISSAAC-Trial [NCT005725079] 
BMC Surgery  2008;8:12.
Background
Several randomized controlled trials have compared different suture materials and techniques for abdominal wall closure with respect to the incidence of incisional hernias after midline laparotomy and shown that it remains, irrespective of the methods used, considerably high, ranging from 9% to 20%. The development of improved suture materials which would reduce postoperative complications may help to lower its frequency.
Design
This is a historically controlled, single-arm, multi-centre, prospective trial to evaluate the safety of MonoMax® suture material for abdominal wall closure in 150 patients with primary elective midline incisions. INSECT patients who underwent abdominal closure using Monoplus® and PDS® will serve as historical control group. The incidences of wound infections and of burst abdomen are defined as composite primary endpoints. Secondary endpoints are the frequency of incisional hernias within one year after operation and safety. To ensure adequate comparability in surgical performance and recruitment, the 4 largest centres of the INSECT-Trial will participate. After hospital discharge, the investigators will examine the enrolled patients again at 30 days and at 12 ± 1 months after surgery.
Conclusion
This historically controlled, single-arm, multi-centre, prospective ISSAAC trial aims to assess whether the use of an ultra-long-lasting absorbable monofilament suture material is safe and efficient.
Trial registration
NCT005725079
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-8-12
PMCID: PMC2492842  PMID: 18644124
4.  Totally laparoscopic versus conventional ileoanal pouch procedure – design of a single-centre, expertise based randomised controlled trial to compare the laparoscopic and conventional surgical approach in patients undergoing primary elective restorative proctocolectomy- LapConPouch-Trial 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:13.
Background
Restorative proctocolectomy is increasingly being performed minimal invasively but a totally laparoscopic technique has not yet been compared to the standard open technique in a randomized study.
Methods/design
This is a two armed, single centre, expertise based, preoperatively randomized, patient blinded study. It is designed as a two-group parallel superiority study. Power calculation revealed 80 patients per group in order to recruit the 65 patients to be analysed for the primary endpoint. The primary objective is to investigate intra-operative blood loss and the need for blood transfusions. We hypothesise that intra-operative blood loss and the need for peri-operative blood transfusions are significantly higher in the conventional group. Additionally a set of surgical and non-surgical parameters related to the operation will be analysed as secondary objectives. These will include operative time, complications, postoperative pain, lung function, postoperative length of hospital stay, a cosmetic score and pre-and postoperative quality of life.
Discussion
The trial will answer the question whether there is indeed an advantage in the laparoscopic group in regard to blood loss and the need for blood transfusions. Moreover, it will generate data on the safety and potential advantages and disadvantages of the minimally invasive approach.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-6-13
PMCID: PMC1676020  PMID: 17125500
5.  Interrupted or continuous slowly absorbable sutures – Design of a multi-centre randomised trial to evaluate abdominal closure techniques INSECT-Trial [ISRCTN24023541] 
BMC Surgery  2005;5:3.
Background
The closure of the abdomen after median laparotomy is still a matter of debate among surgeons. Further well designed and performed randomised controlled trials determining the optimal method of abdominal fascial closure are needed.
Design
This is a three armed, multi-centre, intra-operatively randomised, controlled, patient blinded trial. Over 20 surgical departments will enrol 600 patients who are planned for an elective primary abdominal operation. The objective of this study is to compare the frequency of abdominal incisional hernias between two continuous suture techniques with different, slowly absorbable monofilament materials and an interrupted suture using an absorbable braided suture material at one year postoperatively.
Conclusion
This trial will answer the question whether the continuous abdominal wall closure with a slowly absorbable material with longitudinal elasticity is superior to the continuous suture with a material lacking elasticity and to interrupted sutures with braided thread.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-5-3
PMCID: PMC554977  PMID: 15755324
6.  Postsurgical pain outcome of vertical and transverse abdominal incision: Design of a randomized controlled equivalence trial [ISRCTN60734227] 
BMC Surgery  2003;3:9.
Background
There are two ways to open the abdominal cavity in elective general surgery: vertically or transversely. Various clinical studies and a meta-analysis have postulated that the transverse approach is superior to other approaches as regards complications. However, in a recent survey it was shown that 90 % of all abdominal incisions in visceral surgery are still vertical incisions. This discrepancy between existing recommendations of clinical trials and clinical practice could be explained by the lack of acceptance of these results due to a number of deficits in the study design and analysis, subsequent low internal validity, and therefore limited external generalisability. The objective of this study is to address the issue from the patient's perspective.
Methods
This is an intraoperatively randomized controlled observer and patient-blinded two-group parallel equivalence trial. The study setting is the Department of General-, Visceral-, Trauma Surgery and Outpatient Clinic of the University of Heidelberg, Medical School. A total of 172 patients of both genders, aged over 18 years who are scheduled for an elective abdominal operation and are eligible for either a transverse or vertical incision. To show equivalence of the two approaches or the superiority of one of them from the perspective of the patient, a primary endpoint is defined: the pain experienced by the patient (VAS 0–100) on day two after surgery and the amount of analgesic required (piritramide [mg/h]). A confidence interval approach will be used for analysis. A global α-Level of 0.05 and a power of 0.8 is guaranteed, resulting in a size of 86 patients for each group. Secondary endpoints are: time interval to open and close the abdomen, early-onset complications (frequency of burst abdomen, postoperative pulmonary complications, and wound infection) and late complications (frequency of incisional hernias). Different outcome variables will be ranked by patients and surgeons to assess the relevance of possible endpoints from the patients' and surgeons' perspective.
Conclusion
This is a randomized controlled observer and patient-blinded two-group parallel trial to answer the question if the transverse abdominal incision is equivalent to the vertical one due to the described endpoints.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-3-9
PMCID: PMC293467  PMID: 14614782

Results 1-6 (6)