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Obesity increases the surgical complexity and risk of recurrence after midline primary ventral hernia repair: results on 2307 patients from the French Society of hernia surgery (SFCP-CH) registry database.

PURPOSE: Obesity is a known risk factor of recurrence after hernia surgery, but available data often concern pooled cases of primary and incisional hernia, with short follow-up. We aimed to analyze the impact of severe obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 ) on the results of midline primary ventral hernia repair (mPVHR), in comparison with non-severely obese patients.

METHODS: Data were extracted from a multicentric registry, in which patients' data are consecutively and anonymously collected. We conducted a retrospective comparative study on patients with severe obesity (sOb) versus non-severely obese patients (non-sOb), who underwent surgery, with a minimal 2-year follow-up after their mPVHR.

RESULTS: Among 2307 patients, 267 sOb and 2040 non-sOb matched inclusion criteria. Compared with non-sOb, sOb group gathered all the worse conditions and risk factors: more ASA3-4 (39.3% vs. 10.2%; p < 0.001), symptomatic hernia (15.7% vs. 6.8%; p < 0.001), defect > 4 cm in diameter (24.3% vs. 8.8%; p < 0.001), emergency surgery (6.1% vs. 2.5%; p = 0.003), and Altemeir class > 1 (9.4% vs. 2.9%; p < 0.001). Laparoscopic IPOM was used more often in sOb patients (40% vs. 32%; p = 0.016), but with smaller Hauters' ratio (46 vs. 73; p < 0.001). Compared with the non-sOb, the rate of day-case surgery was lower (48% vs. 68%; p < 0.001), the surgical site occurrences were significantly more frequent (6.4 %vs. 2.5%; p < 0.001). The main outcome, 2-year recurrence, was 5.9% in the sOb vs. 2.1% (p = 0.008), and 2-year reoperations was 3% vs. 0.3% (p = 0.006). In the adjusted analysis, severe obesity was an independent risk factor for recurrence [OR = 2.82, (95%CI, 1.45; 5.22); p = 0.003].

CONCLUSION: In patients with severe obesity, mPVHR is technically challenging and recurrence rate is three times higher than that of non-severely obese patients.

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