, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 335–339 | Cite as

Primary ventral or groin hernia in pregnancy: a cohort study of 20,714 women

  • E. Oma
  • M. Bay-Nielsen
  • K. K. Jensen
  • L. N. Jorgensen
  • A. Pinborg
  • T. Bisgaard
Original Article



Prevalence, management, and risk of emergency operation for primary ventral or groin hernia in pregnancy are unknown. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalences of primary ventral or groin hernia in pregnancy and the potential risks for elective and emergency repair.


This single-institutional retrospective study included all pregnant women attending one or more prenatal consultations at Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark, during a 3-year period. Patients’ medical records were electronically retrieved. A free-text search algorithm and subsequent manual review was conducted to identify patients registered with a primary ventral or groin hernia in pregnancy. Follow-up was conducted by review of medical record notes within the Capital Region of Denmark supplemented with structured telephone interviews on indication.


In total, 20,714 pregnant women were included in the study cohort. Seventeen (0.08%) and 25 (0.12%) women were registered with a primary ventral and groin hernia, respectively. None underwent elective or emergency repair in pregnancy, and all had uncomplicated childbirth. In 10 women, the groin bulge disappeared spontaneously after delivery. During postpartum follow-up of median 4.4 years (range 0.2–6.0 years), five (0.02%) and four (0.02%) underwent elective primary ventral and groin hernia repair, respectively.


Primary ventral or groin hernia seems rare in pregnancy, and the incidence of emergency repair is extremely low. Watchful waiting strategy is recommended during pregnancy in women suspected for a primary ventral or groin hernia.


Umbilical hernia Inguinal hernia Femoral hernia Pregnancy Prevalence 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

EO, MB, KKJ, LNJ, AP and TB declare that they have no conflict of interest.


No financial support.

Ethical statement

According to Danish law, approval from a local ethics committee was not required.

Statement on human rights

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Statement on the welfare of animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

According to Danish law, informed consent from included individuals is not required for this type of study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digestive Disease Center, Bispebjerg HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NVDenmark
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryNykoebing Falster HospitalNykøbing FalsterDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics/GynecologyHvidovre Hospital, University of CopenhagenHvidovreDenmark
  4. 4.Gastro Unit, Surgical DivisionHvidovre Hospital, University of CopenhagenHvidovreDenmark

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