, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 995–1001 | Cite as

Understanding the patient perspective after ventral hernia repair

  • T.-H. J. Lee
  • K. L. Ulisney
  • A. K. Choudhuri
  • J. L. Swiger
  • G. J. GibeilyEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Forum on primary midline uncomplicated ventral hernia



More than 350,000 ventral hernia repairs are performed in the U.S. each year. However, long-term quality of life of patients living with hernia repair is less known. Follow-up using patient-reported outcomes (measures) is an important representation of the patient experience and can inform quality improvements of hernia treatments. This study aims to understand the patients’ experience after ventral hernia repair, to enhance quality of care and long-term hernia treatment outcomes.


To better understand long-term outcomes of ventral hernia repair and to enhance an existing PRO tool, two rounds of semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted. In total, 22 patients who had ventral hernia repair were enrolled. The patient perspectives obtained were grouped into themes to inform the further development of the PRO tool. Data were transcribed and analyzed using atlas.ti and Microsoft Word.


Ten major themes were identified in this analysis. Patients’ quality of life was impacted by hernia repairs and hernia recurrences, including chronic pain, effects on daily activities and social relationships, and the challenge in finding new treatments. The lack of provider–patient communication and patient understanding of hernia repairs highlighted the need for providing patients with more comprehensive information regarding repair options and outcomes prior to surgery.


PRO assessments and meaningful communications between the physician and the patient can provide a comprehensive benefit–risk assessment prior to surgery, and may also improve patient understanding of what to expect during recovery from surgery.


Ventral hernia Patient-reported outcomes Hernia repair Quality of life Food Drug Administration 



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Benjamin Poulose and Dr. Michael Rosen of the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative for their significant contributions to this work.


No funds or support has been received for this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed.

Human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent for participation was obtained before the interviews began.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Devices and Radiological HealthU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA

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