JOURNAL ARTICLE

Long-term follow-up after umbilical hernia repair: are there risk factors for recurrence after simple and mesh repair

J A Halm, J Heisterkamp, H F Veen, W F Weidema
Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 2005, 9 (4): 334-7
16044203
Adult umbilical hernia is a common surgical condition mainly encountered in the fifth and sixth decade of life. Despite the high frequency of the umbilical hernia repair procedure, disappointingly high recurrence rates, up to 54% for simple suture repair, are reported. Since both mesh and suture techniques are used in our clinic we set out to investigate the respective recurrence rates and associated complications, retrospectively. Patients who were treated between January 1998 and December 2002 were identified from our hospital database and invited to attend the outpatient department for an extra follow-up, history taking and physical examination. The use of prosthetic material, occurrence of surgical site infection, body mass and height as well as recurrence were recorded at the time of this survey. In total, 131 consecutive patients underwent operative repair of an umbilical hernia. Twenty-eight percent of the patients were female (n = 37). In 12 patients (11%) umbilical hernia repair was achieved with mesh implantation. Fourteen umbilical hernia recurrences were noted (13%); none had been repaired using mesh. No relationship was found between wound infection or obesity and umbilical hernia recurrence. In the light of these results it is necessary to re-evaluate our clinical "guidelines" on mesh placement in umbilical hernia repair: apparently not every umbilical fascial defect needs mesh repair. Research should focus on establishing risk factors for hernia recurrence.

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