Tissue Retractor for Open Ventral Hernia Surgery

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted (Opt-Out)



First Advisor

Shane Cotter

Second Advisor

Amy Loya




Tissue Retractor, Hernia, Open Hernia Surgery, Open Ventral Hernia Surgery, Tissue Necrosis


More than 800,000 open ventral hernia surgeries are performed each year in the United States. This procedure has an average readmittance rate of 20%. Tissue retractors are used in each of these surgeries to expose the surgical field. There is evidence that retractors play a role in the surgery's high readmittance rate by inducing cellular necrosis in the tissue they interact with. The angular geometry of current retractors places large amounts of stress on small amounts of tissue, leading to necrosis. Additionally, current retractors are uncomfortable to use and come in fixed sizes that do not fit all tissues. Therefore, we have designed a retractor that limits the amount of stress placed on the tissue, is easier to use, and is more customizable, with the goal of improving patient recovery rates.

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