Current trends in hernia surgery in NHS England

M Pawlak, B Tulloh, A de Beaux
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2020, 102 (1): 25-27

BACKGROUND: Mesh is recommended for the repair of most hernias when prevention of recurrence is the primary endpoint. However, mesh may be associated with increased complications for the patient. The aim of this study was to quantify the use of mesh for abdominal wall hernia surgery in NHS England in recent years.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The NHS Digital Secondary Uses Service database for 2016/17 and 2017/18 was interrogated for numbers of patient undergoing elective primary hernia surgery. Using the specific hernia code inguinal (T201-9), umbilical (T241-9), incisional (T251-9) and other abdominal wall hernia (T271-9), the use of mesh or suture repair was determined. Recurrent and emergency hernia surgery were excluded. All data were provided by NHS RightCare.

RESULTS: There are almost 100,000 hernia repairs performed annually in NHS England. For every four hernias, three are repaired with mesh. The percentage repaired by mesh varies by hernia type. Mesh repairs in inguinal, umbilical and incisional hernias accounted for 95%, 50% and 82%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Mesh repair for all hernia types is more common than suture repair. However, for umbilical and other abdominal wall hernias, a significant proportion are repaired without the use of mesh.


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