Risk factors for adverse outcomes in emergency versus nonemergency open umbilical hernia repair and opportunities for elective repair in a national cohort of patients with cirrhosis

Kay M. Johnson, Kira L. Newman, Kristin Berry, Kamal Itani, Peter Wu, Patrick S. Kamath, Alex H.S. Harris, Paul B. Cornia, Pamela K. Green, Lauren A. Beste, George N. Ioannou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Whether to perform umbilical hernia repair in patients with cirrhosis is a common dilemma for surgeons. We aimed to determine the incidence, morbidity, and mortality associated with emergency and nonemergency umbilical hernia repair in patients with and without cirrhosis, and to explore opportunities for nonemergency repair. Methods: Veterans diagnosed with cirrhosis between 2001 and 2014 and a frequency-matched sample of veterans without cirrhosis were followed through September 2017. Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program data provided outcomes and risk factors for mortality after umbilical hernia repair. We performed chart review of a random sample of patients undergoing emergency umbilical hernia repair. Results: Among 119,605 veterans with cirrhosis and 118,125 matched veterans without cirrhosis, the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program database included 1,475 and 552 open umbilical hernia repairs, respectively. In patients with cirrhosis, 30-day mortality was 1.2% after nonemergency umbilical hernia repair and 12.2% after emergency umbilical hernia repair, contrasting with zero deaths in patients without cirrhosis undergoing these repairs. In patients with cirrhosis but no ascites in the prior month, 30-day mortality after nonemergency umbilical hernia repair was 0.7%, compared to 2.2% in those with ascites. Chart review of patients requiring emergency umbilical hernia repair revealed that elective umbilical hernia repair may have been feasible in 30% of these patients in the prior year; fewer than half of those undergoing emergency umbilical hernia repair had received a general surgery consultation in the prior 2 years. Conclusions: Nonemergency open umbilical hernia repair was associated with relatively low perioperative mortality in patients with cirrhosis and no recent ascites. About 30% of patients undergoing emergency umbilical hernia repair may have been candidates for nonemergency repair in the prior year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgery (United States)
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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