Background: Although obtaining preoperative procedural consent is required to meet legal and ethical obligations, consent is often relegated to a unidirectional conversation between surgeons and patients. In contrast, shared decision-making (SDM) is a collaborative dialog that elicits patient preferences. Despite emerging interest in SDM, there is a paucity of literature on its application to ventral incisional hernia repair (VIHR). The various surgical techniques and mesh types available, the potential impact on functional outcomes and quality of life, the largely elective nature of the operation, and the significant risk of perioperative patient complications render VIHR an ideal field for SDM implementation. Methods: The authors reviewed the current literature and drew on their own practice experience to describe evidence-based practical guidelines for implementing the SDM into VIHR care. Results: We summarized the evidence basis for SDM in surgery and discussed how this model can be applied to VIHR given the multiple, complex factors that influence surgical decision-making. We outlined an example of using an SDM framework, “SHARE,” with a patient with a large, recurrent ventral hernia. Conclusions: SDM has the potential to improve patient-centered and preference-concordant care among individuals being considered for VIHR to ensure that treatment interventions meet a patient's goals, rather than solely treating the underlying disease process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Abdominal wall reconstructions
  • Shared decision-making
  • Surgical decision-making
  • Ventral hernias


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