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Ventral hernia repair is a common surgical procedure, with >300,000 repairs being performed each year in the United States alone. Of these hernia repairs, ≈ 75% are performed for primary ventral hernias (mainly epigastric and umbilical hernias).
Primary ventral hernias can vary in type and size. To categorize these hernias, the European Hernia Society (EHS) classification was developed and published in 2009. One of the aims of this classification was to use a uniform method of describing hernias in both scientific and clinical communication. The classification is based partly on the estimated risk of complications and recurrences. Although published several years ago, the EHS classification has not been externally validated thoroughly.
Recently, Kokotovic et al demonstrated that 11.2% of all patients undergoing primary ventral hernia repair developed short- term or long-term postoperative complications and that these complications were correlated with the readmission rate of the patients. This finding shows the importance of identifying risk factors for postoperative complications. Recognizing these risk factors could lead potentially to preoperative interventions or individual patient risk-assessment.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the EHS classification among other factors, as a potential predictive tool for postoperative complications after primary ventral hernia repair by using a French, large-scale database.