Improved Understanding of Acute Incisional Hernia Incarceration: Implications for Addressing the Excess Mortality of Emergent Repair

Lauren V. Huckaby, Esmaeel Reza Dadashzadeh, Robert Handzel, Alexa Kacin, Matthew R. Rosengart, Dirk J. van der Windt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Incisional hernia develops in up to 20% of patients undergoing abdominal operations. We sought to identify characteristics associated with poor outcomes after acute incisional hernia incarceration. Study Design: We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with incisional hernias undergoing elective repair or with acute incarceration between 2010 and 2017. The primary end point was 30-day mortality. Logistic regression was used to determine adjusted odds associated with 30-day mortality. The American College of Surgeons Surgical Risk Calculator was used to estimate outcomes had these patients undergone elective repair. Results: A total of 483 patients experienced acute incarceration; 30-day mortality was 9.52%. Increasing age (adjusted odds ratio 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.08) and bowel resection (adjusted odds ratio 3.18; 95% CI, 1.45 to 6.95) were associated with mortality. Among those with acute incarceration, 231 patients (47.9%) had no documentation of an earlier surgical evaluation and 252 (52.2%) had been evaluated but had not undergone elective repair. Among patients 80 years and older, 30-day mortality after emergent repair was high (22.9%) compared with estimated 30-day mortality for elective repair (0.73%), based on the American College of Surgeons Surgical Risk Calculator. Estimated mortality was comparable with observed elective repair mortality (0.82%) in an age-matched cohort. Similar mortality trends were noted for patients younger than 60 years and aged 60 to 79 years. Conclusions: Comparison of predicted elective repair and observed emergent repair mortality in patients with acute incarceration suggests that acceptable outcomes could have been achieved with elective repair. Almost one-half of acute incarceration patients had no earlier surgical evaluation, therefore, targeted interventions to address surgical referral can potentially result in fewer incarceration-related deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-545.e4
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved Understanding of Acute Incisional Hernia Incarceration: Implications for Addressing the Excess Mortality of Emergent Repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this