Incidence of Incisional Hernia After Emergency Subcostal Unilateral Laparotomy: Does Augmentation Prophylaxis Play a Role?

  • A. Bravo-SalvaEmail author
  • A. M. González-Castillo
  • F. F. Vela-Polanco
  • E. Membrilla-Fernández
  • J. Vila-Domenech
  • M. Pera-Román
  • J. J. Sancho-Insenser
  • J. A. Pereira-Rodríguez
Original Scientific Report



Few data are available about the frequency of incisional hernia in an emergency subcostal laparotomy. Our objective is to analyze the incidence of incisional hernia after emergency subcostal laparotomy and evaluate if prophylactic mesh could help prevent it.


This study is a monocentric retrospective analysis following STROBE guideline statements of all patients who underwent an emergency subcostal laparotomy between January 2011 and July 2017 in our University Hospital. We compared complications and incidence of incisional hernia between patients who received sutures (Group S; N = 203) and patients with prophylactic onlay mesh (Group M; N = 80). A multivariate risk factor analysis of incisional hernia was performed. An incisional hernia-estimated risk calculator equation was created.


A total of 283 patients were analyzed. There were 80 patients in Group M and 203 in Group S. In short-term outcomes, length of surgery (213 ± 115 min vs 165 ± 73.3 min, P = 0.001) and hospital stay (16.4 ± 18.7 vs 11.6 days ± 13.4, P = 0.038) were longer in Group M. Long-term follow-up was conducted in 207 patients with a mean follow-up time of 39.3 ± 23 months. Incisional hernia was detected in 29 (19.1%) patients in Group S but in only two (3.8%) patients in Group M (P = 0.008). In the multivariate analysis, a risk factor analysis included wound infection (4.91 HR (2.12–11.4); P < 0.001), previous hernia repair (2.86 HR (1.24–6.61); P = 0.014), and shock (2.64 HR (1.01–6.93); P = 0.048).


The incidence of incisional hernia after emergency subcostal laparotomy is high. Risk factors are wound infection, shock, and previous hernia surgery. The use of prophylactic mesh augmentation was safe and reduced the incidence of incisional hernia.



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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bravo-Salva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. M. González-Castillo
    • 1
  • F. F. Vela-Polanco
    • 1
  • E. Membrilla-Fernández
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Vila-Domenech
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. Pera-Román
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. J. Sancho-Insenser
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. A. Pereira-Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Servicio de Cirugía General y del Aparato Digestivo, Parc de Salut MarHospital del MarBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Ciències, Experimentals i de la SalutUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de CirurgiaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Hospital del MarBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.IMIM-Institut de Recerca Hospital del MarBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)BarcelonaSpain

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