Outcomes of acute versus elective primary ventral hernia repair

Linda T. Li, Ryan J. Jafrani, Natasha S. Becker, Rachel L. Berger, Stephanie C. Hicks, Jessica A. Davila, Mike K. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The morbidity and mortality associated with acute primary ventral hernia repair have not been well described. We examined the rate of surgical site infection (SSI), hernia recurrence, and mortality in acute versus elective primary ventral hernia repair and identified predictors of morbidity and mortality after primary ventral hernia repair. METHODS: A retrospective study on all patients undergoing open primary ventral hernia repair at a single institution (2000-2010) was performed. Primary outcomes were mortality at any time, SSI, and recurrence. Survival analysis for the entire, unmatched sample was conducted. We performed a risk-adjusted analysis of outcomes using two methods as follows: (1) case matching and (2) propensity score-adjusted regression model. RESULTS: We identified 497 patients; 57 (11%) underwent acute primary ventral hernia repair. For the entire cohort, survival was worse for patients undergoing acute repair (log rank, 0.03). Following case matching on age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, and hernia size, there was no difference in mortality, SSI, or recurrence. After propensity score adjustment, acute surgery was not a predictor for mortality or SSI; however, incarcerated hernias predicted recurrence. CONCLUSION: After risk adjustment, acute primary ventral hernia repair was not associated with higher mortality, infection, or recurrence compared with elective repair. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-528
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Acute primary ventral hernia repair
  • emergency hernia repair
  • general surgery
  • mortality
  • outcomes research
  • surgical site infection
  • survival
  • umbilical hernia repair
  • ventral hernia repair


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