Incisional hernia after liver transplantation: Risk factors, management strategies and long-term outcomes of a cohort study

Heidy Cos, Ola Ahmed, Sandra Garcia-Aroz, Neeta Vachharajani, Surendra Shenoy, Jason R. Wellen, Maria MB Doyle, William C. Chapman, Adeel S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Incisional hernias (IH) develop in up to 40% of liver transplant (LT) recipients and can contribute to considerable morbidity. Materials and methods: A single center retrospective review of a prospectively maintained LT database was conducted to identify all patients diagnosed with IH after LT during a 13-year study period (2003–2015). Analyzed data included patient demographics, LT details, incidence and timing of IH, risk factors, management strategies and long-term outcomes. Results: During the 13-year study period, IH was diagnosed in 16.7% (163/976) of LT recipients after a median of 19.6 months (range 6.7–49.5 months) from transplant surgery. Identified risk factors for developing IH included male gender (p < 0.001) while acute cellular rejection (ACR) was found to be negatively associated with the risk of developing IH (p = 0.014). Acute incarceration/strangulation was seen in 4 patients with IH while the remaining (n = 159) presented with non-emergent symptoms. Surgical repair was undertaken in 70/163 (43%) IH patients after medical optimization when possible (open repair 83%, mesh use 90%). IH recurrence rate was 14.3% (10/70) with comparable rates in no-mesh and with-mesh repairs (42.9% vs. 11.3%; p = 0.057) and open (15.8%) and laparoscopic (9.1%) approaches (p = 0.68). Conclusion: IH is a late complication following LT and male gender is a consistent predictive marker. Acute presentation is infrequent and elective repair can be planned in most patients allowing for risk factor optimization to ensure promising long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Hernia surgery
  • Incisional hernia
  • Liver transplantation


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