Burst abdomen and incisional hernias are serious complications in open abdominal surgery. Some risk factors for these complications have been described previously, but their incidence in the entire community, as well as the impact of specific risk factors, is insufficiently known. Findings from Swedish validated registries, presented by Dr Harald Strömberg, Stockholm, Sweden, at the 1st World Conference on Abdominal Wall Hernia Surgery in Milan, now shed more light on this important topic.

Between 2007 and 2013, more than 40,716 patients were registered in the Swedish Colorectal registry. After 5 years, 3.7% of them had developed incisional hernia. Risk factors studied showed a doubled risk for patients with BMI > 30. Other risk factors, e.g. preoperative radiotherapy, long operation time and reoperation, also doubled the risk for incisional hernias after 5 years. A postoperative complication three-doubled the risk. By combining such risk factors, the authors believe they will be able to define those patients at greater risk for wound complication. These individuals may need special strategy for wound closure, and the next step is thus to find out how best to treat these patients.

Burst Abdomen, Incisional Hernias and Stomal Hernias. A Swedish Population-based Register Study

H Strömberg, P Hellman, G Sandblom, U Gunnarsson