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Laparoscopic versus open emergent ventral hernia repair: utilization and outcomes analysis using the ACSNSQIP database



Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (VHR) is associated with decreased morbidity and shorter length of stay (LOS) when compared to open VHR. Despite evidence of the benefits of laparoscopy, its utilization in VHR has lagged behind that of other complex surgical procedures. We hypothesized that utilization is further reduced in emergency cases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utilization of laparoscopy in emergent VHR and to assess 30-day outcomes for patients undergoing laparoscopic emergent ventral hernia repair (LEVHR) versus open emergent ventral hernia repair (OEVHR).


We used the ACS-NSQIP database for years 2006–2015 to compare LEVHR versus OEVHR. Inclusion required two factors: (1) classification as an emergency case and (2) primary procedure documented as laparoscopic or open repair of incarcerated umbilical, ventral, or incisional hernia. LOS and 30-day morbidity and mortality were assessed.


A total of 13,126 patients underwent emergent repair of initial or recurrent umbilical, ventral, or incisional hernia. 1130 (8.6%) underwent LEVHR repair and 11,996 (91.4%) underwent OEVHR. Patient demographic data display a trend toward decreased utilization of laparoscopy in patients with more significant comorbidities. LEVHR was associated with decreased operative time and postoperative LOS. LEVHR was associated with decreased superficial surgical site infection (SSI), deep SSI, and 30-day mortality. Subgroup analysis displays decreased incidence of superficial SSI, deep SSI, wound disruption, pneumonia, and postoperative sepsis for patients ASA1-3 undergoing LEVHR versus OEVHR.


Utilization of laparoscopy in VHR is low in emergency cases. Patients who did undergo LEVHR had decreased postoperative LOS and decreased infectious and wound-related morbidity. Increased utilization in emergency VHR could significantly improve patient outcomes. Further study is warranted.

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Correspondence to D. M. Pechman.

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Dr. Pechman, Ms. Cao, Dr. Fong, Dr. Thodiyil, and Dr. Surick have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Pechman, D.M., Cao, L., Fong, C. et al. Laparoscopic versus open emergent ventral hernia repair: utilization and outcomes analysis using the ACSNSQIP database. Surg Endosc 32, 4999–5005 (2018).

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  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Utilization
  • Ventral hernia repair
  • Emergency
  • Outcomes