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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 174-180

An observational study of short- and long-term complications including pain after onlay mesh umbilical hernia repair

1 Department of General Surgery, Canterbury District Health Board Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand; Department of Surgery, University of Otago, Christchurch Campus, New Zealand
2 Hernia Clinic, Christchurch, New Zealand
3 Department of General Surgery, Canterbury District Health Board Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand; Hernia Clinic, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Andrew Mark McCombie
Department of General Surgery, Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), University of Otago, Private Bag 4710, Christchurch 8140.
New Zealand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijawhs.ijawhs_9_21

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BACKGROUND: Information about outcomes for patients who undergo onlay mesh placement for umbilical hernia repair is scarce and the factors that influence adverse outcomes, such as long-term pain, are not well understood. A study of patients undergoing open umbilical hernia repair was undertaken. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients who underwent open umbilical hernia repair through a private surgical practice over a 13-year period using either an onlay mesh or suture alone repair were given a questionnaire following surgery to document the incidence of long-term pain or other complications. Data were then analyzed to understand any potential contributors to a poor outcome. RESULTS: The information on 346 patients was available for study. Mesh was used for repair in 327 (94.5%) patients, whereas 19 (5.5%) had suture alone repair. Early (≤30 days) complications were experienced by 73 patients (21.1%). The most common complications were seroma formation (27 patients), wound infection (13 patients), and hematoma (11 patients). Four patients developed a combination of hematoma, infection, and seroma formation. Late (>30 days) complications (other than persistent pain) were recorded for nine patients and were all wound-related problems. Long-term pain was significantly more common in those patients reporting wound complications (odds ratio: 7.01, 95% confidence interval 1.82–26.99). Recurrent umbilical herniation developed in three patients (0.9%). CONCLUSION: Onlay mesh repair for umbilical hernia repair can be performed with low rates of chronic pain and low recurrence rates; however, surgical site occurrences remain common albeit easily treatable.

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