Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 4102–4108 | Cite as

Perioperative factors associated with pain following open ventral hernia repair

  • Walker Ueland
  • Margaret A. PlymaleEmail author
  • Daniel L. Davenport
  • John Scott Roth



Effective pain control following open ventral and incisional hernia repair (VHR) impacts all aspects of patient recovery. To reduce opioid use and enhance pain management, multimodal therapy is thought to be beneficial. The purpose of this study was to identify patient characteristics associated with perioperative patient-reported pain scores.


With IRB approval, surgical databases were searched for cases of open VHR performed over 3 years. Based on a retrospective chart review, modes of pain management and visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores were recorded in 12-h intervals to hospital discharge or to 8 days post-operation. Forward stepwise multivariable regression assessed the independent contribution of the perioperative factors to VAS pain scores.


Included in the analyses were 175 patients that underwent VHR. Average age was 55 years (+/− 12.8), and half were female (50.9%). Factors independently associated with increased preoperative VAS pain scores included preoperative opioid use, preoperative open wound, CDC Wound Class II, and prior hernia repair(s). Patients with epidural for postoperative pain had significantly decreased VAS pain scores across the time continuum. Operative factors significantly associated with increased preoperative VAS pain score included median hernia defect size, concomitantly performed procedure(s), duration of operation, and estimated blood loss. Greater preoperative VAS pain score predicted increased pain at each postoperative time point (all p < .05).


Preoperative pain and opioid use are associated with increased pain postoperatively. Epidural analgesia effectively results in decreased patient-reported pain. Increased operative complexity is associated with increased preoperative pain scores.


Ventral hernia repair Predictors of pain Preoperative pain Opioids Multimodal pain management Visual analog pain score 


Compliance with ethical standards


Walker Ueland, Margaret Plymale, and Daniel Davenport declare no conflicts of interest. John Scott Roth declares conflict of interest not directly related to the submitted work: grants, personal fees, and other from Bard; grants, personal fees, and other from Acelity; and grants from Miromatrix.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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